Overcoming the Crash


“I love your bracelet, where’d you get it?” Jasmine asked her friend.


“Bling Bling, of course,” Riley answered matter-of-factly.


Their teacher overheard. “That is pretty,” she said, glancing at the bracelet. “What’s Bling Bling?”


“Seriously Mrs. Borrego – you’ve never heard of Scottie Bling Bling?” Riley said as Jasmine giggled.


“I’m new here, remember?” She said with a smile, patting the sixth graders on the shoulder. “And I spend all my free time here at Hard Drive Cafe – with you guys!” she laughed.


While Riley told their teacher all about Scottieland’s hottest jewelry store, Jasmine stared at the computer screen in front of her, thinking.


“Mrs. Borrego?” she interrupted their conversation, “I think . . . I think I just came up with an idea for our next project.”


“What is it?”


“Well, when I don’t know about something, I usually come to the computer and look it up,” she started. “Well, you didn’t know about Scottie Bling Bling. Nobody outside of Scottieland does. But what if they had a website and you could look it up?”


Riley’s eyes widened.


“We could make them a website!” Jasmine said excitedly. She turned to Mrs. Borrego. “Can you teach us?


“Of course!” their teacher said excitedly. “What a great idea! And you two could be the webmasters.”


They both nodded. “Webmasters,” Jasmine repeated. “I like that.”


The next day, Mrs. Borrego called a meeting with the staff of Hard Drive Cafe.

“Jasmine and Riley have some really exciting news to share!”


Jasmine excitedly leapt from her seat. The project was all she’d been thinking about since they discussed it the day before.


“So, we had this idea…” She looked at Riley, who nodded and finished her thought.


“We want to build a website!” Riley exclaimed. “For Scottie Bling Bling.”


The staff began buzzing with a mix of shock and excitement. 


“I bet we can make it before spring break,” Mrs. Borrego said. “But we’ll need a lot of help. Who’s in?”


Nine hands shot up. Mrs. Borrego’s glance turned to the 10th student, a shy boy named Marco.


“Would you like to help?” she asked kindly. “I promise it will be fun.”


He shook his head and continued scribbling. She turned back to Riley and Jasmine and smiled. “He’ll come around.”


The staff wasted no time before jumping into the website project. They met with the manager of Scottie Bling Bling, who was over-the-moon at the prospect of her business having a website – so much so that she provided pictures of their entire inventory the next day.


Over the next week, Mrs. Borrego taught the employees each step: picking out a template for the page, selecting colors and fonts, how to input text and even how to add pictures. They each took turns at the computer, learning how to do one step, and watching their classmates do the others.


Between each step, they stopped to discuss the decisions ahead: which color should the text be? Which pictures should go on the page? 


Marco sat quietly nearby, continuing to write in his notebook. Every so often, Jasmine or Riley would ask him to join, but he declined.


On the day before the big website reveal, Mrs. Borrego was out sick.


Jasmine started up the computer they’d been using to build the site. She couldn’t wait to finish and show the entire school. Maybe next they’d make websites for every business in Scottieland, and then –


Her daydreaming was interrupted by a beeping sound. She stared at the screen – it was blue.


“What’s going on?” Riley asked.


“I…. I don’t know,” Jasmine said. “I’ll try to restart it.”


The blue screen appeared again. “No!” Riley cried. “This happened to my dad’s computer at home. He had to get a new one!”


“But – everything we needed was on this computer!” Jasmine said. “Even if we start over, all the notes, the step-by-step instructions, all the decisions we made, they’re all saved in here!” She tapped the CPU with her foot out of frustration.


Their substitute teacher, Mr. Sweeney, stepped in. “Is it saved anywhere else?”


The girls shook their heads in despair. A small voice behind them said, “I have it.”


They spun around to see Marco, clutching his notebook.


“You have what?”


“I… I took notes of everything you did,” he said quietly. “That’s how I learn.” He handed over the notebook.


“It’s all here,” Jasmine said, flipping through the pages. “I can’t believe it!”


“Marco, you’re my new hero!” Riley said, hugging him. “Will you help us build the site all over again?”


“Sure,” he said with a shrug. 


They all gathered around the computer as Marco went through each step, setting up the template, picking the same fonts, colors and pictures and arranging them exactly as they’d all done before.


“This is amazing!” Riley said.


“It looks exactly like the one we built before!” The employees were relieved that all their hard


 work has not been lost.  


The next day, Mrs. Borrego

and the entire staff of Scottie Bling Bling was on hand for the promised unveiling of their new website. They were so thrilled that they agreed to pay Hard Drive Café 10% of their sales from the next month.


After the fanfare was over, Mrs. Borrego turned to the staff. “So, now that you’re all website pros… when do you want to start making new sites for every business in Scottieland?”


Jasmine’s eyes widened. “More pages? Now! Oh, wait,” she paused. “Too bad it’s spring break!”


Her teacher couldn’t help but laugh. “That may be the first time I’ve ever heard a sixth grader say that!”

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