|Renaissance Space Academy's Intermediate Coders sent this picture to Santa after |
delivering a picture perfect Christmas.
Gloom spread over Santa's workshop the evening of December 22nd as word of the United States Government shutdown reached the North Pole by carrier penguin. Because of the shutdown, Santa wouldn't have access to information from the United States Space Command; information Santa relies on to track weather systems and potential midair hazards like jets, helicopters, blimps, and drones.
At an emergency meeting held around Santa's kitchen table over spiced eggnog and festive confections hot out of Mrs. Claus's oven, Santa and his chief elves brainstormed alternatives. Who could they trust to get them safely from home to home around the world? Who could they trust to reroute passenger, cargo, private, and military aircraft to avoid a tragic metal on reindeer encounter? The British? With Brexit on the horizon there was a fear of unstaffed facilities at the British Defense Office. The French wouldn't consider working overtime. The Germans didn't have the skills necessary for such a complex task. The Chinese don't believe in Santa and the Russians celebrate Christmas in January.
"All is lost, raise your hands if you vote to cancel Christmas." Santa's question dropped onto the table with a thud. There was pause followed by a small voice.
"Wait, I think I know a way to deliver Christmas safely." All eyes turned to the littlest elf. "What about the Space Academy?"
Santa shot out of his seat sending his chair flying back into Mrs. Claus's ironing board. "The Space Academy! Why didn't I think of that?"
The text asking for emergency assistance appeared on my phone late into the night on December 22nd from North Pole Telecommunications. "Be informed," it read, "that Santa is in need of the Academy's Young Coders to make Christmas a reality for the children worldwide." The rest of the text explained the situation.
By early morning, December 23rd, I had Renaissance Space Academy's Intermediate Young Coders Club in my classroom with computers on and ready for action. We had to be ready, knowing Santa would soon be on his way toward Australia and New Zealand. Christmas arrives in those countries first.
I gave each row its assignments:
• Rows one and two handled weather tracking.
• Rows three and four dealt with air traffic. Their coding skills were put to the test. Several nations were reluctant to turn over their air traffic computers to our young coders. No problem. Our intermediates hack straight in and accessed all the information Santa needed to navigate the skies safely.
• Rows 5 and 6 dealt with hackers. Every Christmas thousands of Grinchlike programmers attempt to hack into Santa's GPS to confuse the reindeer with inaccurate global positioning information. Row 5 and 6 handled them brilliantly. First they intercepted and disarmed the malware. Secondly they identified who it was who sent the malicious code, and lastly they accessed Santa's Naughty and Nice list and promptly removed the mischievous rascals name from the "Good" column.
Christmas was a success and you can thank the Space Academy's Intermediate Coders for it. They worked tirelessly for 48 straight hours living on soda and Smith's donuts so you and your family could enjoy the holiday. Isn't this what you expect?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of at the Space Academy!