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Mischief By Proxy

, , , , , | Learning | August 5, 2021

I attended a private high school that issued laptops to all of its students and faculty. Of course, because we had near-constant Internet access, the school had a pretty hefty firewall put in place — amongst other measures — to ensure we were doing what we were supposed to during class. However, being a bunch of teens, many of us were also doing our best to circumvent this firewall, typically through proxies. Once one of these was found, it spread like a wildfire before administration caught on and blocked it and the cycle repeated.

I’m not sure how this is handled at other schools, but at mine, the last week before finals was solely dedicated to reviewing for them and to giving you an opportunity to ask your teachers questions about older material.

It’s this time my sophomore year and I’m in my algebra class browsing social media via one of those aforementioned Internet proxies — perhaps not the smartest decision looking back, but oh, well. Unbeknownst to me, my teacher — the very same one from this story — has snuck up behind me.

Teacher: “Is that Reddit?!”

I nearly jump out of my skin, especially since computer misuse is an automatic detention, and circumvention of the firewall can be a suspension if you get caught directly.

Me: “Um, yeah.”

Teacher: “How the h*** did you get around the firewall?! I swear, I’ve been trying to do that all year.”

Me: “Oh, uh, I use [Proxy].”

Teacher: “Thanks!”

He immediately scurried back to his desk. 

Since the first story I submitted about him, I’ve learned he didn’t even apply to the school to be a teacher; he applied to be in their IT department. Administration just stuck him in the position because he had a math degree. That fact explained a lot.

The Password Adds Up

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