Had a coffee about 9pm. Woke up about 2:30. Graded a little. Worried about the state of race relations in America a little. Thought I'd write some novel before sleeping a little more. Happy Tuesday.
On Wednesday morning, Alan woke as before at 5am to run, only to find Mr. Fox waiting for him in the meeting room with an assortment of items.
"No running this morning?" Alan asked.
"There's a different plan till Friday."
On the table was a parachute and a small backpack.
"I take it I'm going to be jumping out of another plane this morning?" Alan surmised.
"Yes, but this time on your own. Then you will hike 84 miles and find your way to Tynemouth. I expect to meet you in The Priory pub by sundown on Friday."
"Where's Tynemouth? And where are you dropping me?" Alan asked, a little nervous to be pulling the cord himself for the first time. "Will I be alone?"
"You'll be walking the length of Hadrian's Wall, from west to east. We'll drop you over Bowness-on-Solway where the wall path begins. Leave your parachute in front of the old church. Then you'll need to average about thirty miles a day. That's a fast clip but the path is easy and well marked. Once you get to Wallsend, you'll want to take the Metro to Tynemouth. You have enough money in the pack to get there comfortably."
"And what am I supposed to do while walking for three days?" Alan finally said. He had never been alone for a whole day, let alone three days. The thought of merely walking without doing anything sounded excruciating to him.
"Oh don't worry," Fox continued. "Your Latin should be up to speed by the time you get to Tynemouth."
Somehow that seemed even worse than three days of silence.
"Your Latin is better than most first recruits to be sure. But you will need to be able to hold an intelligent conversation in Latin if you expect to go on to the second quarter. I expect you to have mastered a thousand words by Friday and be able to understand any sentence like those you'll be hearing. And it goes without saying that you should be able to speak fairly fluidly in simple sentences by then too."
He pulled out an iPhone and head buds from one side of the pack and held it up. "Start at the beginning, proceed to the end. Repeat."