Student Work

The Story of Me, Myself, and I and How I Saved Light Bulbs

by Julian Wong / Jul 16, 2011

Part of the Time Traveler Disaster Aversion: Your Personal Journey to Save Science and the World Series.

MISSION #1: Thomas Edison

On October 22, 1879, Thomas Edison originally invented the first practical light bulb using a carbonized bamboo filament. He first got the idea when examining a bamboo fishing pole he was using while on a trip to Battle Lake. But what if Edison never got to examine that fishing pole at Battle Lake? What if he never got that idea? And what if he never invented the modern light bulb?

Part I:
The Journal of Thomas A Edison

September 14th 1858:
My mother was the making of me. Some, I must not disappoint. I feel like she is the only one who cares about me, someone who doesn’t call me addled.

October 4th 1858:
I need someone to talk to when special or weird things happen, and record them, that’s why I have you.

Today I saved a three-year-old boy from being hit by a runaway train. The child’s father was so grateful that I saved his son that he offered to train me as a telegraph operator! I, of course, accepted.

I am 19 now and I am moving to Louisville, Kentucky, where I am to work my job at the Associated Press Bureau news wire. I requested the night shift where I could read and experiment.

Today I saw someone in black come out of a street I had seen nobody go into. When I looked where he had come from I found a business card with this written on it:
Greenwood Time Travel Co.
Earth, Sol, USA, Seattle
But there is no such thing as time travel, is this a prank or something?

Today when I went to work, I found the door open, like someone left in a hurry. What was weird was that the person in the shift before always takes his time and closes the door. Always! I decided to just go in anyways, but when I went to take out the lead acid battery I had left there last night to experiment with, it was not there! I had to experiment with my wire filament instead.

I am getting better at my telegraph work so they put me in the day shift. Now I have less time to experiment.

I was getting some parts for my phonograph and when I returned my phonograph had disappeared. WHO IS DOING THIS?!

Today I went fishing when some evil birds stole my fishing rod! Evil is at work here. EVIL I tell you!…

Part II:
The Story of Me, Myself, and I and How I Saved Light Bulbs
By: Julian Wong

You are probably wondering who me, myself, and I are, but as it says on the cover, my name is Julian Wong. I have black hair. I am seventeen years old. I was born in 2306 AD, the year of the first time machine, 500 mile teleporter and electric burning sky ship were invented by the marvelous scientist, chemist and inventor: Allen Fenroy. I have a sister who is 14, blah, blah, blah, stuff you don’t need to know about me and has little importance whatsoever to the story. Well then, lets start the story.

One special day I was hurrying to the Greenwood Time Travel Co. Workshop. It was special because I was going to take a test, a test to see if I could become a time and space travel enforcer, a very special job. Oh, and I was in a hurry because I was going to miss the test if I didn’t hurry and get there fast. Anyway, I just made it before the test started. Three lucky people made it into the time enforcer world and three made it into space enforcing each year. I won’t write the questions here because: A) it’s copyrighted and B) it would take up too much space and C) you would probably get stumped because the question were like this:
Where does the emergency portal in gateway 41 go to?
A. Sector 71
B. Sector 12
C. Plutonian outer ring gate 19
D. Space home base Airlock 5
E. Galactic center 34
But I, miraculously, didn’t get stumped and got into the time enforcers training center.

Three years later I got my first emergency call. By then, I was a senior student. I was only two years away from graduating, pretty sure I could complete a time assignment successfully, when the space-time complication happened and I went in a real time machine for the first time. The time experts knew just what to do when all the light bulbs in the room turned into torches. They flipped through their history books and found scribbles on the pages about Thomas Edison and found new entries showing that instead of discovering that he could use bamboo filaments for his light bulbs while fishing, big black birds had taken his fishing rod and flown away with it also, showing that he had not gotten fired from his telegraphy job and his phonograph had been stolen. So acting quickly, the experts chose two people to go on the time correction journey: Me, and another senior named Nico (short for Nicholas) so this is where the adventure began!

(End of Prologue)

When I stepped into the time machine, the first thing I thought was that it looked like a refrigerator, but was colder than a freezer.

“Dude, can’t this thing have heating or something?” Nico asked.

“True, I never thought of that,” the expert replied, scratching his head and laughing as Nico rolled his eyes in distaste.

“Lets hope this works!” another expert said as he entered the room.

“Wait! This was tested, right?” I asked, suddenly worried.

“Well, we’ve time traveled a few days at most and it works completely expect for this one defect we don’t know how to fix–”

“Well then let’s get going before I get too nervous” Nico interrupted, pressing the travel button.

“Wait!” an expert shouted. “The time travel machine will disappear right after it drops you off if you don’t press the charger continuously the entire time travel!”

But we only heard him faintly through the humming of the time machine and by the time we found out, it was too late. The time machine dumped us out in a back alley (that I figured would be where the Time Enforcers School would be in about 500 years) and disappeared in a flash of black light.

Later, I found myself reading a street map trying to find out where we were which was hard because Nico was still grumbling about how much his tailbone hurt when he had fallen out of the Time Machine.

“Well you could have been more patient and listened to what the experts had to say before pressing the time travel button!” I snapped and immediately regretted it because you really don’t want to see Nico scowl. (And that was just what he was showing me!) Then he went back to complaining how damp the place was.

“It looks damp, it feels damp, it sounds damp, it smells damp and”—Nico stuck his tongue out in the air –“it even tastes damp!”

“Well that’s what it was like in Washington before they put the weather shields on, so stop complaining like a child and get to work! Or do you want to get your job terminated when we get back?!” I asked.

Nico responded softly, but he quieted down anyway and I decided to be nicer to him after that. After all, he was a human being too.
I got out my mini-hovercraft-that-turns-into-a-big-hovercraft-if-I-press-a-certain-button pocket-sized hovercraft.

(To Be Continued)….