Friday, November 2, 2007

Chapter 1 - Press Coverage

June 5th, 2008
Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, room 180

"If you look on page 72 of your text, ladies and gentleman, you will see a diagram of what is called a 'normal' distribution." said the TA

This is so boring,
Ryan thought as he sat through yet another day of IE 230. I've already taken AP statistics and I already know this stuff. It looks like a perfect day, and I'm stuck inside with summer classes. At least it's a technical elective, and not another thermo class. Just four weeks of this and I'll be that much closer to finishing my degree. It wouldn't be so bad if class wasn't two freakin' hours long.

Looking around for something to do, Ryan spied a newspaper on the floor next to his neighbor. "Pssst" he called to the barely-awake girl.

"What?" she hissed back.

"Can I have your The Exponent?"

"Whatever." She kicked it across the floor.

Ryan stealthily folded the student paper under the desk so that the seventh page corner was on top. He waited until the TA was facing the board to flip the paper onto the desk. He clicked forth some graphite at the tip of his pencil in anticipation - only to be disappointed to find the sudoku had already been solved. In ink.

Damnit, I should've seen that coming. Ryan thought. I've already done the reading for this class, and the homework for Friday. I wonder what else is going on this week at Purdue.

Ryan scanned the newspaper quietly, taking advantage of his rear seat in the large lecture room to hide his alternate reading material. The most interesting news story was on page three:
Party Animal Crashes Late Night Gathering
By Jason DeSoto, Assistant Campus Editor

West Lafayette Police responded to a disturbance call at a Harrison Street residence late last night. The authorities were phoned in by irate neighbors after "screaming and loud moaning" were heard for several minutes. When units arrived on scene, officers found one student had attacked other party goers after showing up late.

Doug Erickson, a senior in the College of Technology said "we didn't recognize him at first, but we offered him something to drink...he kinda went crazy and got all up in our faces". Officers subdued the offender, who was reported as "extremely lethargic and uncooperative" with suspected blood alcohol levels well over the legal limit.

Property damage was minimal. Four students and one officer were taken to Purdue University Student Health Center for treatment of lacerations and bites. All but one were released this morning, she remains in good condition.
There were a few other minor headlines, including:
Purdue to Host Biochemistry Colloquium

Electrical Problems at Lynn Hall

Above Average Temperatures Strain Facilities

Graduate Student Reported Missing

Coach Tiller's Offseason Thoughts

Purdue Prepares to Welcome New Administrator
Ryan grew restless as the minutes ticked by and the TA droned on. Finally noon rolled around, and the lecture ended. He packed up his notebook, shouldered his bookbag, and headed through the Engineering Mall, at one point contemplating an impromptu fountain run. Resisting the siren call of the cool water spray, he headed past the Bell Tower to the Union for a lunch date with Jenny.

Taking advantage of the Stewart Center's a/c was a top priority. Unfortunately, this slight detour meant running into a throng of people in line for a presentation by the Dean of Students in Loeb Theater. The presentation didn't start until 12:30, apparently, and the people in the line grew restless. They stood uncomfortably close, crowded against each other because of maintenance work in the same hallway.

"Excuse me, pardon me, comin' through" Ryan tried politely to squeeze through the mass of people. Jeez, he thought I never knew this guy was so popular. It's like the Day of the Dean or something.

Finally through the mindless horde, he ducked into a stairwell and headed downstairs, passing underground to reach the Union. Not only was it less crowded, but it was air-conditioned and out of the blazing sun.

He emerged directly across from the recently renovated Villa Pizza. Getting out of class at the top of the hour did have it's advantages -most of the students would be out and about between 12:20 and 12:30, and glancing at the clock on the wall Ryan saw he still had a few minutes before Jenny's class let out. He walked briskly past several studying students sipping Starbucks.

Across from the arcade, Ryan entered Pappy's, grabbed a booth near the back and waited for Jenny to arrive.

Current Word Count: 2,670


  1. I for one look forward to seeing how the Coach Tiller headline turns out to be the lynchpin of the plot.

  2. That's the second time today I've seen the word "lynchpin."