HOW I GOT OUT OF WRITING AN ESSAY ON H.G. WELL’S THE TIME MACHINE.

January 17, 2005
I received the syllabus for my Humanities course. A humanities course should not be required for my B.Sc degree in Physics. To add insult to injury, we are supposed to do an analysis of Well’s The Time Machine. We are to focus on the historical context when the topic is time travel?
Who reads a book on a time machine for social insights? I would do anything to get out of this essay.
At dinner, my friends complained about this assignment. I tell them a way out: I will build a time machine.
They mocked me, but they will see.

January 18, 2005
9:20 A.M. Building a time machine is harder than I thought. There are all kinds of technical challenges I didn’t anticipate. Frustrated, I decide to make a mix tape with songs like Cher’s If I could Turn Back Time.
Noon. Finished my time machine. The book report is due in a couple of weeks, so I need to get down to business.

January 19, 2005
Watched Groundhog Day. What a great movie.

January 20, 2005
After lunch I get in my time machine and press the lever forward. I don’t know what to expect and am somewhat surprised by the sound emitted which is that of a very large blender. Stranger yet is the smell emitted by my contraption—which is that of cinnamon vanilla.

August 14, 1996
I have successfully transgressed the boundaries of time. I have moved backward in time.
I create an internet company called eToys. If I am rich, I don’t need to stay in school.

February 12, 1997
I’m rich. I have no need to go to school. Returning to the present with no worries about stupid papers on stupid books.

January 20, 2005
I return to the present. My company has flopped. I’m in debt. Must figure out a way to finish book report. Less than a month until it is due!

March 08, 1920
I go to Harvard, to see Professor Santayana, guru of arts and culture and stuff. I tell him my situation, the whole thing.
I ask him if he’ll help me.
He says to me, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

January 20, 2005
I believe Santayana was trying to give me a suggestion about the significance of Wells. I come up with a couple of ideas. After a good night’s rest I’ll return to Professor Santayana and see what he says.

March 08, 1920
I take my ideas to Santayana.
He says to me, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
I can see where this is going. I make my way back to the future.

December 16, 2004
Today is the day I signed up for the humanities course.
I try to intercept my past self from taking the humanities course. The lines for registration are painfully long. Unwilling to wait, I decide to not bother.

July 13, 1880
I meet H.G. Wells and try to persuade him he shouldn’t be a writer. H.G. claims he isn’t that interested in writing.
He asks me where I am from and why I am dressed the way I am.
I tell him that I have come from the future.
H.G.: “The future? Say, that is an interesting idea. Someone who can move through time. Speaking of writing,that would make for an interesting book. Don’t you think?”

I return to the present, depressed.

January 21, 2005
I realize I’m doing this all wrong. I should go to the future. Get the book report, I have already written, and than take it back to the past! The present! You know before the due date.

October 26, 2056
Overshot by a bit much.
I am so sick of my mix tape. I was sick of it the first time. But after fifty years? You can understand, if I am a bit on edge.
I assumed that the future would be infinitely more complex. Really is much simpler and I suppose it makes just as much sense to imagine that human society would work to make everything simpler rather than more complex.
The fundamental unit of currency is the ‘Ice Cube.’ I load my pockets with these, as proof of my adventure when I return to 2005, but also because I find them very helpful in cooling off room temperature drinks.

February 28, 2005
I meet my future self, who has already had his book report returned to him. He got a C-, the slacker. That’s good enough for me, though. So, I take my future self’s essay and run.

February 18, 2005
I submit my paper on The Time Machine.

February 28, 2005
My paper is returned to me with a C-. I feel like this doesn’t reflect the amount of effort I have put in. I tell the teacher so.
On the way out of my professor’s office, a young man (handsome, introspective and yet obviously ambitious) steals my book report. It doesn’t really matter since I’ve already received my grade. But it was still a painful reminder of how tough you have to be in this world.

October 3, 802, 701
I call a meeting. I persuade the Eloi and Morlock to live peaceably together. I warn them not to go back to their old ways.
I look at them and say “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

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