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Exploring the instinct for self-expression even before Qaya had a name:

The extreme urgency to talk to the future through her written, skincut record and through the tag-you’re-it or scavenger hunt quality of leaving a trail so the future, but not her contemporaries, can find her would mark her as the beginning of history. And in the tradition of Puritan diarists, the implied message is, “I matter and you can learn from my experience.” Which must further connote, “you matter, too.”

Exploring possibilities for two-way communication across generations:

First, you must want to do so. The “escapee” becomes the first who wants to communicate as an individual. This is not a cultural norm, myth or folk tale; not how to build a kayak, cure a cold or talk to the moon. It is: this is how I alone perceive and feel directed at other individuals in the future who thereby are presumed also to perceive and feel. But even if those future individuals don’t yet “perceive and feel,” they become more likely to do so because they learn about her. So, she becomes a participant in the future not by talking to like-minded people but by actually developing them. She has a future existence as a teacher, an elder!”

The professor and his students:

The professor would be a tenured academic; he has lots of time. Ironically, it’s the young people—students and trekkers—who don’t have time. They must figure it all out right now and without ‘divine’ intervention.

The professor knows so much more than the students while he’s on site it’s hard for them to grasp what he does not know. His shortcomings arise less from him than from their perceptions, even naivete, as students. They may have joined their favorite professor’s expedition for adventure and good grades, but their imperative as Young People turns out to be not fully united with being a student. Young People require a Rite of Passage. If their society doesn’t offer one, they will invent it for themselves.

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