Dispatches from the Future
Under the Clouds
It was the night of graduation spring semester 2037 and Ted, a senior getting ready for graduation, was looking around for his umbrella. The news had been talking about the atmospheric river coming in for the past week, and it was a big one. Ted was totally prepared for the storm, he had been experiencing them since his freshman year. The school was much more prepared for these heavy rain storms. It hadn’t rained in almost 7 months and everyone was ready for a downpour.
These periodic storms were having an impact on both the campus and students. Two years ago, there were many storms resulting in 58” of rain that year. One storm that year resulted in a devastating flood. Two of the bridges on campus were destroyed and a student was even killed from being swept away by the raging creek. The school saw this as a wakeup call and decided to implement changes on campus to make sure the school and students would be safe during these events. “Finally!” Ted shouted as he grabbed his umbrella that was buried beneath a pile of dirty laundry. After he took a quick sniff test of the umbrella to make sure it was B.O. free, he raced out the door to see one of the most efficient changes that was made by the school.
A series of ditches covered by porous grates now crisscrossed their way across campus. These ditches were used to keep the sidewalks clear of puddles and prevent the at-risk areas on campus from flooding. A great inclusion with these ditches was the installation of hydroelectric motors to buffer the increased energy use of the dorms and other buildings on campus. On his way to campus the rain started so he pulled out his umbrella and made his way to one of the covered walkways throughout campus, another one of the school’s new implementations is to battle the intense rain, and the heat during times of drought. “Ugh!” another smell of the umbrella told Ted he needed a new umbrella after graduation.
He finally made it to the ceremony and only 10 minutes late. The good news was that he was warm, dry, and ready for his big day. Because of the chance of a torrential storm, the graduation was held in the Gymnasium. Although the ceremony was smaller, it was much quicker, so the school was able to schedule 4-5 ceremonies in a day. The school knew how to adapt to the extreme weather it started experiencing, so the students learned the same. Together they found answers to the issues they all faced and working together they overcame them.
-- Michael Tiffany