The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

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Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Economics 101, a Novel, ch 170 -- Taking a Rest

[JMR20160909: This was a blind alley. I am currently working in the initial (rough) draft of this chapter, here:]

 (The story starts here:

So, Professor MacVittie and Karel's and Bobbie's parents have been contacted, but do not yet know the extent of the situation:

For the record, it's still Saturday back home, but it's Sunday in the islands.

Now, Sunday is a modern sabbath day for most Christians -- a day of rest.

Karel and Bobbie like each other when they are busy.

Let's see what happens when they take a day of rest and are not so busy.

A couple of hours after sunrise, Karel woke up. When he opened his eyes, he found himself looking into Bobbie's eyes.

"The storm is over," she said.

"How long have you been awake?"

"Dunno. Ten minutes? Half an hour?"

"Didn't wake me up?"

"I'm enjoying this." She smiled. "Is it a sin?"

"If we were at school, we'd be reporting ourselves."

"We aren't at school, ..."

"Uhm, we agreed to follow the school honor code here."

"... and there's nothing to report except two people protecting each other in a storm, and the only bishop we can report it to is God."

"I'm enjoying this, too, and that's something we can report. But we'd better sit up." Karel got on his knees.

"Spoilsport." But Bobbie got up on her knees, too.

Karel took Bobbie's hands in his own, bowed his head, and started praying. "Father in Heaven, we seem to have survived the storm. I am, ... we are grateful for thy protection. We are also grateful for being able to talk with Wycliffe and find out what our situation is. And we are grateful for being able to enjoy each other's company. We really do enjoy each other's company." He paused.

"We have lots of things we will need, that we will need help figuring out how to get, like sufficient food and building materials and things we can use for medicine. And today is Sunday, so we need a little extra help tomorrow to make up for the work we won't do today," and he finished his prayer.

"Okay, so you're not feeling guilty about enjoying my company."

"No way." Karel grinned.

"My turn. Heavenly Father, Storms are dangerous, but I'm having fun. Thank you for letting us have this experience. Other than that, what Karel said." And she finished her prayer.

"It's getting warm in here."

"It was sure cold during the storm. I guess I shouldn't have wrapped the souvenirs I sent home in my extra blanket."

"At my suggestion and example. I'm sorry about that. Sort of."

"Sort of?"

"Well, ...?"

"Yeah, ... okay, ... sort of, ..."

"Let's make sure there're no mules in ditches outside."

The camp was in remarkably good shape. So they just removed the tarp covering their trunks and hung it and their bedrolls out to dry on the wall they had built the day before. Then, for breakfast, they ate some of the bread and cheese and drank some water from their canteens.

"Good thing we boiled the water and refilled our canteens yesterday."

"Water's going to be a regular problem."

"Let's see if we have enough to get through the day, if we refrain from unnecessary work today."

"When should we have church?"

I suppose this bears some explanation.

Usually, Mormons will attend church services at the nearest branch of the Church each Sunday. But there was no branch of the Church on any of the islands where Bobbie and Karel were doing their research. The nearest branch was at least five hours by air from any of the islands.

With Professor MacVittie's help, Karel had obtained authorization to conduct church services for himself and Bobbie while in the islands, when they were unable to attend a regularly organized branch.

And interested islanders would always be welcomed to their small (wherever two or more of you are gathered in His name) meetings.

"Let's do it now."

So Karel and Bobbie fished their scriptures out of their bags, and Karel got a plate and the cups from the emergency kit and went down to the water to wash them while Bobbie prepared a small topic to discuss.

When he returned, they opened their Sacrament meeting with a prayer and hymns, singing a cappella. Karel administered the Sacrament of the Lord's Last Supper, and they partook of bread and water in remembrance of the Lord's flesh and blood.

(Water, not wine. Mormons were early to substitute water for wine, viewing the consecration of symbolic tokens, rather than transubstantiation. Reference their Doctrine and Covenants, section 29, for those who are curious.)

Then Karel read from 2nd Nephi chapter 31, reviewing the basics of faith in Jesus Christ and expounded on the idea that they needed to endure to the end. And they closed the meeting with prayer.

Then they shifted to Sunday School mode, opening with a simple prayer. Bobbie read 2nd Nephi 9: 42 & 43 ("puffed up because of their learning"); and Alma 9: 28 ("reap a reward of their works"); and Deuteronomy 8 ("The Lord ... bringeth thee into a good land, ... Beware that thou forget not ... Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, ... then thy heart be lifted up); and James 4 ("because ye ask not").

And they discussed pride and academic honors and choices about work -- especially their previous choices about work.

And they referred to something they had sometimes tentatively discussed in the past, whether two professors could live together in the same household. And they talked about whether they should have been letting their desires to both be able to have professorships induce them to suppress, as they now finally admitted, their feelings for each other.

And they ended with a prayer.

Interestingly, their discussion spilled over after their little Sunday School, when perhaps they should have been studying quietly or writing in their journals or something, and the discussion became warm. Some of the differences which they had in the past allowed to blind themselves to each other were revisited, and understanding still not found. And words which don't matter were exchanged, and feelings hurt. And Bobbie took her scriptures and journal down to the beach, and Karel sat on his trunk with his, and they didn't talk again until hunger brought them back together for lunch.

Even then, the conversation was strained, and limited to safe topics like the weather. (Which was fine, now.)

They spent the remainder of the day wandering separately around the parts of the island they knew, alone with their own thoughts. When they met going opposite directions near the lagoon, their eyes met, but they both looked down, passing each other without speaking.

They ate supper separately, and Karel rolled his bedroll out under the stars on one side of the tent, and Bobbie rolled hers out under the stars on the other side. And they had their prayers separately, and slept undisturbed by dreams or visions.

Can our co-protagonists give each other a break?

The table of contents can be found here:

[The initial (rough) draft of this chapter is here:]

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