Mario Villalobos


I was offered the opportunity to teach a class next quarter, and I took it. I’m going to be teaching cinema — whatever that means — to about 10 students two times a week for 30 minutes per class. This was something I discussed with the superintendent during my interview with him, but it hadn’t come up again since he hired me. Until today, obviously. This is going to be fun. I’m a little scared, very eager, and extremely clueless as to what to do. I’m thinking of first teaching the kids the principles of telling a story. As long as they have that down, I think the rest will come easier. Afterwards, I was thinking of maybe doing a little bit of inspired short films. If they can tell a story in five seconds, film it, and show it in class, I think they’re good to go.

The principal offered me this job while I was sitting by the conference table in the district office writing notes in my little Apprentice notebook. The internet was still down, and I didn’t know what to do. In the morning, First Call Computer Solutions — the guys who set up the network all those years ago — gave me a call and tried walking me through the issues. I told them all the information I could give them, and we tried a few things. One of the main things he wanted me to do was to ping our switch, which is this device that connects devices to the internet. We tried to see if we could at least contact it, but we couldn’t. It was unreachable from the few sources I tried, which could mean our switch had failed. We tried a few more things, but we couldn’t do anything if we couldn’t connect to the switch. I reset it to factory defaults, tried again, and still nothing. Something’s wrong with it, and tomorrow they’re sending someone up here with a temporary switch to see if that would fix the problem.

Since this happened early in the morning, and I really couldn’t do anything else network-wise for the rest of the day, I wandered around the campus and talked to students, teachers, and other staff members. It was a relief, to be honest, to get away from those issues and just branch out. Many of the students think I’m cool, and yes I’m bragging. I was talking to one student in the hall when one of his teachers came up to us, and the student told him that I was one of the coolest guys he knows. Later, I wanted to go back to my office, but the path there went through some school girls during recess. They asked me where Luigi was, I told them he’s messing up our internet, and they laughed and said I was so cool. It was strange, but a good ol’ ego booster, especially when I felt useless today.

During the end of the day, I was asked to be a judge for this elementary school geography competition. Fifteen students were given really tough geography questions, and if they missed two questions, they were out. Everyone but one girl missed their first question. They were really tough questions, especially for 4-6 graders. In the next round, two more girls answered correctly, but everyone else didn’t so they were out. The semi-finals had three girls, and the questions became harder. Everyone missed their first few questions until finally someone answered one correctly. In the next round, someone else answered one correctly, giving us our championship round. Each girl missed the first two of three questions, but with the last question, one of the girls answered correctly and the other one didn’t. These were tough questions and to have someone win was incredible. It was fun, and I’m glad I was able to take part in it.

Sometimes we can’t let the bad hinder our ability for good. The internet was down, and people depended on me to get it back up and running, but I couldn’t. I felt like a failure until I decided I wasn’t. The switch could have failed. There was nothing I could’ve done to fix that short of going to the store myself and buying a replacement. I joked around with people as I walked around the campus, and they understood what was going on. I liked explaining the issues to people because it let them know what was going on. I didn’t do that last time. I just had a good day when it looked like I was in for another long, hard, and horrible day.