When I was in high school we had a tech lab class. While fun, it was one of those classes where you didn’t really do anything other than fill an hour of time with random things. It was one of the newer areas of the school, all renovated in a nice office-like setting with new computers and desks and whatnot.
One of the particular “stations” as we called them was Construction (each station had its own theme, like Construction, CAD, and others I can’t remember for the life of me). One day my teacher asked me if I knew “that city building game” while I was working at the Construction station. Turns out he was talking about SimCity 2000, which why yes, I have at home. He asked if I could bring it in to put on the station, because he thought it’d be a fun thing to try on there every so often. It was a nice change from Family Feud online before class, and since you could install it on as many computers as you wanted, eventually every computer in the tech lab had SimCity 2000 on it.
At first the teacher asked why everyone suddenly had it on their computer, although more as a rhetorical “Ok just don’t spend the entire class on it” type question. So he let it slide, and we still got our work done…for the most part, since there really wasn’t a set curriculum for the class. When you’re ordering a battery powered Lego train to put up around the skylight above the teacher’s desk, you can imagine the class was just a bit unstructured.
After building a dozen cities and watching them crash and burn because we all sucked at SimCity 2000 in the long run, someone had the great idea to bring in Quake 2. This went a lot better, since we were able to LAN it up against each other, filling the tech lab with the sounds of rocket launchers and various classmates fragging one another (in-game, obviously). I don’t really remember why, but I remember the teacher just sort of…not showing up from time to time, leaving us completely unattended for that hour at the beginning of the school day, free to battle in the Quake 2 arena or go back to Family Feud or try to actually beat the online Lego Bionicle game we came across.
I remember some days in senior year I was the only person in the entire lab. The teacher wouldn’t show up most days, it became a bit of a pattern, and I guess people just decided to take that hour for themselves. Sometimes I’d walk over to the chorus class a door or two down the hall to hang out with my friends, but most of the time it was Quake 2 and Newgrounds. Hell senior year was the year of Pokemon Ruby anyway, so you bet your ass that happened. That Game Boy Advance was fantastic to have around.
I still don’t know what the point of that class was other than to make a much more interesting study hall type class. They succeeded.