November 19, 2005
Hacking the school sound system...
by Jango <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Wire cutters : 5€
mp3 player : 20€
cables : 2€
A whole day of music in the sound system and a cool story to tell : priceless
I'm in a dormitory school, the school opens on Sunday night to let us in, so I just "got lost" and went to the office where the sound system for announcements is. A little push on the ceiling tiles and a chair on a table gave me access to the cables, that I cut open and rewired with an mp3 player. The batteries on there last 18H+, so I knew there would be time for some decent music to be played through the sound system the next day. I set it to play at full volume and walked through the musical corridors back to the dormitory building, seperated from the tunes.
Next morning, I get up, have breakfast and walk to the classrooms, a bunch of my friends are standing there dancing with big stupid smiles on their faces, while the people who are less into trip-hop, drum & bass and lo-fi are walking around wondering what the hell's going on. We go into the first lesson of the day, the teacher saying, "it makes the school feel livelier, I don't know what kind of music that is, as long as the lesson goes right", which it did, ironically, for the first time in years.
The lessons where real calm and we actually had a good morning of work done, and the people who didn't like the music said they were starting to appreciate something that is totally new to them. We had lunch, the cantine was nearly empty, people were getting up to go and listen to the music as soon as they finished eating, even those who were complaining that it was "druggies music" playing. My bunch of friends and I went through the corridors talking to random people about the music, explaining what it was about (like the origins of the music etc...) and telling them where the next parties and concerts were happening. For the first time in years this kind of "talk to anybody" attitude was viewed as normal, and I noticed loads of people going around talking to anybody and friends were telling me that they met loads of new people and made quite a few friends that day, even the teachers and staff were in the corridors talking to each other and talking to students. The player's batteries died at about 8 o'clock at night, and the people who stayed at the school just for the music started to leave, people were holding hands, big smiles, in groups of previously uncompatible people.
I saw the principle talking to some of the staff saying "don't look for the problem, just let it be, we'll stop this only if it causes any problems of if we get complaints"...
... which they did, people came to the staff asking where the music was the next day, and the staff just said : "We don't know how the music got there and don't know if it'll ever happen again, but we hope it will, it was the calmest day of the history of this school, and we're hoping that if it happens spontaneously again the effect would be bigger than it happening all the time..."
This is a PFFT! to all the rules applied to school with no thought in them, how can you know if you haven't tried? Maybe it would help in all those violent american schools...
Published: November 20, 2005