Thursday, May 31, 2007

Time travel

So today we had a fun day with the deans at Bethel. It was designed to be a day of relaxation away from issues about work. We went to the Dean of Education's place on the river and spent most of the day out on the deck. It was very nice. I work with the best people I could imagine.

We started with a silly, creative exercise designed to do two things: 1) force us to think outside of the box; 2) get to know each other a bit more. Each person had to draw a question out of a hat, and a quotation out of a hat. Then we had 30 minutes to write the answer to the question, incorporating the quotation, and using exactly 100 words. It was pretty challenging, but everyone rose up to it. The answers were enlightening, touching, profound, funny, etc. The 100 word requirement added an interesting twist.

My question was, "If you were forced to travel through time and stay there for the rest of your life, to what year would you go?" And my quotation was from Plato: "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

My 100 words were as follows:

Before slamming the door behind me, the angry, mustachioed commander barked, "60 seconds until the flux capacitor activates. If you don't set the time dial, a year will be chosen randomly." I tried last year, thinking I wouldn't mind trying it over again, but the dial only went to 1900.

Looking around I saw graffitied on the wall (by a previous victim?) the words, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." Wow! Despite almost certain martyrdom I have to pick 30 AD to spend three years playing with Jesus.


Doug said...

do numbers count as words? and was 1900 one word or two? :)

entirelysimulated said...

Would you have needed a place dial as well? Or are we to assume that the imagination has placement powers? Otherwise, you might have landed in 30 A.D., but in aboriginal Australia.

J. B. Stump said...

Yes, I had to cut some corners to stay at 100 words.

Crowbard said...

The '1900' codon may be considered as one word if you concieve it to be a semiotic signifier of mono-symbolic representation conveying a culturally recognisable mono-meaning. In a semantic context however, it represents a whole bunch of words; for instance, the one thousand and nine hundredth year of the Christian era, which I reckon at eleven words. There are acceptable variations on this phraseology which may affect your word count.
This utterly insignificant pedantism is completely outweighed by the brilliance of your choice of when and where to go. I'd mark your response at about three zillion percent regardless of dubious ploys to hit the word limit.
The problem with time travel is that everything that was around in Big J's time has since moved along the temporal flow (undergoing natural changes) into the present. If you went back even a nano-second in time you would find nothing - in the emptiest meaning of the word and probably invoke a catastrophic trans-temporal paradox or another 'Big-Bang'.
Be blessed in brotherhood,