Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Diary of a Struggling Student Entry Seven

Aug. 17, 2016

Dear Diary,

Well knowing how to use a pulley system and making a pulley system is not the same thing.  I figured just hook them up together and pull.  Well that didn’t work.  I used 7 pulleys and thought that was too many but I wanted to make sure it would work.  I tied myself to one end and hooked the pulleys to a big branch.  I pulled to see if I could raise myself up off the ground and that did not work.  I figured it was because of the angle of my pulling so I had my new friend pull and see if he could raise me off the ground.  NO, NO, and NO.  It looked so easy when I watched people pull engines out of cars and move a shed to the other side of the yard.  Think about a bike and how when you change speeds it makes it easier to pedal.  Well this did not work.  Now I realize it is how and where you place the pulleys in the system that makes it work.  I am not even going to tell you what I had to do and how long it took me to figure that out.  But, now I can pick myself up off the ground and there are more than 15 pulleys involved in the setup.  Remember, we have to pull against the current.

Now we had to figure out where my friend came out of the water.  I needed to know because he said his tube was tied to a tree and he didn’t go very far downstream.  If we tied the rope to the same tree and got in the water where he got out, then we know we would definitely have crossed the portal when we reached the tree.  Then, when the portal closed, we would be on the side where we both started.

This all sounds good but I quickly found out that building the pulley system was the easiest part. 

Here is what happened when I announced my plan:

I said, “We need to make sure we set up the pulley system using the tree that you had tied your tube to when you ended up here.  We will tie one end of the rope to the tube and then thread it through the system and we will climb on the tube and pull the other end.  You know, like hand over hand.”

Well the look on his face was one of absolute shock!  His face got red and I thought he was going to explode.  Well he did sort of explode, at me! 

“Are you really that stupid?  We did all this work and now you tell me that we are going to get into the water and go upstream against a current that is raging?  I can’t believe I have wasted my time with you and that you are that, that, that, that STUPID!!!”

If he hadn’t been yelling at me I think I would have laughed.  I have never seen anyone so mad.  He walked, or no, he stormed away and I could hear him even though he wasn’t saying a word.  I now understand what they mean when they say body language.  It comes through loud and clear.

He kept walking right out of the campsite and into the woods.  I thought maybe he would stop when he got to the next state, if there was a next state.  He sounded like a moose going through the woods.  Did I say he was mad?

Now what?  I could try it alone but then I would take his only way of getting out of here with me.  He didn’t want to go, so really, I wouldn’t be taking anything that he would actually use.  If it worked and he saw it work, then the problem would be he couldn’t do it because I had the tube.  That would be awful.


I went at least 10 feet into the air.  He scared the life out of me and I won’t write what I said.  Talk about red marks on my paper, I would be thrown out!  Once I could breathe, I turned and said, “You don’t have to holler, I am right here.”  (You know, it is fun to use these adult sayings.  I’m gonna have to listen more closely and pick up a few more.)  I really wanted to punch him in the … oh off topic. 
How did he get behind me without my hearing him?

“Look, we both worked hard on this and I think we both need to calm down before we continue.  You will know when you are calm enough to speak to me when you stop using the word ‘STUPID’.”

With that I turned and walked away.  I went over to the fire and sat down.  I found some of the trail mix from the supplies and ate that.  I really wasn’t interested in the nuts and raisins; I wanted the M&Ms.  Chocolate does settle my nerves. (I do just love these adult expressions.  Settle my nerves, like you could really do that.)  Chocolate just tastes good and that makes me feel good.

When I did look back where he was, surprise, surprise, he was gone.  This time I figured I would walk around the perimeter of the camp to see just what was out there.  I realized I had never gone beyond the campsite since I got here.  Everything we did was right in this area.  Well, today that was going to change.

I thought I will take some of the supplies with me just in case I get lost.  I wasn’t going to go far, but you should never go into the woods on an unknown trail without supplies.  I put the back pack on and headed to the area where he had gone the last time sounding like a moose.  I just started into the woods when I saw him walking toward me.  How was that for timing or was it?

“Let’s go back to the campsite and talk.  I promise not to yell or call you... you know.”

I said, “You go ahead, I am going to take a walk and clear my head.” (Like anyone can really clear their head!)

“No.  Let’s go back and talk about this now while I am still willing to listen.”

Was he trying to keep me from going into the woods?  Was there something there that he was so anxious to keep me from seeing that he would listen to a plan he called stupid?  I stood for a minute and decided, getting home was more important.

“Come on,” I said.  “But this time you have to listen to the whole plan and then discuss it like an adult.”  (At least I could get in that one last jab!)

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