Friday, August 12, 2016

Diary of a Struggling Student entry Six

Aug. 12, 2016

Dear Diary,

The plot thickens.  I always wanted to say that!

“How is your head feeling?” he asked.

I just about jumped out of my skin.  I was watching the whole area and there was no way he could have gotten this close to me without my seeing him.

“Where did you come from?” I screamed.  “What is going on around here?” 

He looked shocked and said, “I came from over there and thought you saw me.  I saw you looking all around.

“I didn’t see you and there is no way you could get from there to here without me seeing you!”

“I didn’t mean to scare you.  Sorry,” he said.

I just looked at him.  I know I didn’t see him and he couldn’t get over here without me seeing him.  Yet, here he was in front of me.  Could I just have missed him?  Was I day dreaming?  Something just doesn’t feel right.

“Where were you?  We got to the site and then suddenly you were gone.”

“I gave you the icepack and thought I would make sure the site was secure.  I do that several times a day.  So far, they have not come away from the water, but who knows when they will.  I walked around the perimeter (Like that word? It is a math term.) to make sure there were no signs of anyone or anything crossing into our site.”

I handed back the icepack as my head was feeling better.  It wasn’t bleeding and the headache was gone.  I had to figure a way to get out of here and back to my family campsite.

“I think we need to figure out a way to get back home,” I said.

“I told you, there is no way to go back.  The portal opens when the water is rushing downstream and there is no way you could possibly go upstream against the current.”

“You need to change your attitude.  I had a teacher once who said there are many ways to ‘skin a cat’. (That is okay to say but not the other word for eliminate!  Personally, skinning a cat sounds disgusting and then to add different ways to do it?!?!)  He would always tell us to look at the problem and use the skills we are good at and then figure a way to use them to solve the problem.  We get stuck when we try to use a method we don’t understand.”

“So, what are you thinking?”

“I am very good with outdoor activities like camping, hiking, climbing and survival.  I learned a lot from my dad and also doing those activities.  You said that you had tied a rope to a tube and the rope kept you from going too far downstream.  Do you still have the tube and the rope?”

“Yes, but I told you that I could not pull myself back because the portal was not opened.  I ended up doing the same thing you did.  You walked back up stream but never got back to where you entered the water.  The portal is the only way back.  The current is way too strong to go upstream.”

“The actual problem here is how to go upstream when there is a very strong current going downstream.  That is the problem to solve.  Do you think if we both got on the tube and pulled on the rope that we would be able to fight the current and move upstream?”

“No, even with both of us pulling, we would not be able to make it.  It would be way too hard.”

“So now the problem is how to make the pulling upstream easier.  If we could figure a way to make the pulling easier, we would be able to move upstream.”

“How do you plan on doing that?  When there are two of us on the tube, it will be heavier than with one.  We do not have the strength to do what you are thinking.”

“You are right, we don’t.  But, I have seen people lift and move very heavy things with the aid of pulleys.”

“How does that work?”

“Don’t ask me to explain a pulley system, but I know how to use it!  The question is; where can we get some pulleys?

“I can help with that.  The hikers who do rock climbing have them in their packs.  They are not that big, does it matter?”

“No, it will be how we set them up and then how many we will need.  We also need to know exactly where you came out of the water.  You said you were just inside the portal, so we want to get as close as we can to the opening so we don’t have far to go.”

“I know exactly where I came out of the water.”

“Now that the cat is skinned, we have work to do.”

“But, how are you going to get the portal to open?”

“I have an idea and you are not going to like it. So, let’s build the pulley system and then move to the next step.  You do still have the tube, right?”


I feel like Dorothy – I am going home!

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