Part 11

The day arrived. There was an unusual amount of talking and nervous laughing as the class entered Mr. Donelly's room. Grizelda walked in calmly, trying her best not to appear too sure of herself. She didn't want to let Christine and Victor know that she had won, yet. Grizelda looked around the room and noticed all of the nervous chatter. She remarked to herself, "They're all scared, but surprisingly they're all together. I thought for sure at least one group would get broken up by someone betraying their partner's secret." This classwide loyalty kind of restored her faith in human nature.

"Okay folks, okay, settle down everyone," Mr. Donelly said getting his troops ready for the ultimate academic challenge. "We have taken every precaution to insure fairness, and as such, your names will be drawn from this hat to see who presents first, second and so on. Okay, the first pair to go today will be,David Shelby and Clarissa Bently."

Dave and Clarissa stood up, and right away everyone noticed their matching outfits. They were both dressed in black and red. Dave had on a shinny black shirt, halfway unbuttoned to reveal four thick gold chains around his neck. In the pocket of his shirt was a red carnation. He was carrying a piece of red paper and a pair of scissors. When he stood up, the girls all smiled. He scanned the whole room and made a bow.

Right behind him was Clarissa in a shiny, black, micro, minidress with red satin sleeves. As she walked up to front of the room all eyes were glued to her. She looked like a Las Vegas magician's assistant. All the guys were praying that she would bend over in that dress. Zig also noticed that she was carrying a black satin bag.

Then it hit him, "They don't have the answer! They're trying to get a decent grade just on showmanship and bull." The thought made him smile. Actually, he started to burst out laughing, but Zella poked him in the ribs and he controlled himself.

"Hello all, I'm David the magnificent paper magician, and this is my beautiful assistant Clarissa," said Dave. "Today we will perform the great, Walk Through a Hole in a Piece of Paper Trick."

He proceeded to take his scissors and cut a big hole out of the center of the red paper. He then threw away the middle part, and theatrically waved the audiences attention over to Clarissa.

At this cue, she held up the black satin bag in front of the class. She started to wiggle and giggle. Slowly she inserted her fingers inside the bag. Abruptly she exclaimed, "Oh my! So there you are Mary. Come on out and help Davey and me."

Clarissa stuck her hole hand in the bag and pulled out a Barbie doll dressed exactly like she was. With the doll in front of her face Clarissa started talking so the class would think it was the doll speaking, "Hi I'm Magic Mary watch me walk through that hole over there."

Clarissa started to "walk" the doll across Mr. Donelly's desk when 'OOPS', she just happened to drop the doll on the floor. This of course necessitated the bend over that everyone was waiting for. Who noticed the fact that they were throwing a Barbie doll through a hole in a piece of paper when Clarissa was displaying such distractions? Everyone burst out in applause and laughter. Clarissa stood up with a seductively triumphant grin on her glossy, red lips.

Mr. Donelly was not impressed, "Terrific showmanship guys, but horrible math presentation. Nevertheless, we thank you."

"Okay, let's see who is up next," Mr. Donelly pulled the next pair of names out of the hat. "Martin Fitz and Mary Jane Wineman please. Let's see what you two have found for us today."

Marty and Mary Jane were obviously uncomfortable. They were giggling as they slowly made their way to the front of the room. All they had was one sheet of paper and a pair of scissors. They didn't have matching costumes.

"Ah, hi there folks," said Marty. Mary Jane stood quietly off to Marty's side and her face started to turn a bit red which made her freckles stand out even more.

"Sorry, ah, we don't have any Barbie dolls or costumes, but ah, well, here we go." Marty then took the scissors and cut the entire center out of the piece of paper. He cut it so very close to the edge that it almost fell apart in his hands. He held up the spaghetti string size paper remains and then Mary Jane placed her hand through the opening.

The class began to nod their heads. Then Mary Jane worked her whole arm through the opening the hole way up to her shoulder. Then she took out her arm and Marty placed his foot in the opening. He worked his leg into the hole up to his thigh and then the thin paper ripped.

"Sorry Mr. Donelly. We did our best. You're not gonna fail us are you?" Marty pleaded. Mary Jane looked a bit green. She wasn't giggling anymore. She just looked at Mr. Donelly like a little dog waiting to be punished for peeing on the rug.

"Sorry Mr. Fitz. You knew at the beginning this was an all or nothing project. I thank you for trying, but you didn't do it. So you get nothing," said Mr. Donelly. "And now let's see who goes next."

Once again the hand went into the hat. Zig and Zella were starting to feel excited. They began to think they might be the only ones to actually get this thing right. Their main competition would be from Victor and Christine. If those two brains got it done first, then Zig and Zella's presentation would be much less impressive.

"Victor Chan and Christine McMann will be up next. Everyone please give them your polite attention," said Mr. Donelly.

Victor and Christine got up and marched to the front of the room. They each had a report in their hands but no scissors. They looked quite confidant and this made Zig and Zella nervous.

Victor began reading from his report,

"As you all know the assignment was to cut a hole in a piece of paper big enough to walk through using nothing but a pencil and a pair of scissors. We spent a great deal of time working on this challenge. Finally we realized that it was one which surpasses our known boundaries of thinking, and as such is one that lives in the metaphysical universe."

Christine now started to elaborate,

"Yes, the mind. This problem is one of the mind. Now we ask you. What is a piece of paper really. Is it not a specifically ordered mass of atoms of molecules? Indeed, are WE not also a specifically ordered mass of molecules? And as such, can't these individual masses intertwine their molecular entities to pass inside...."

Zig couldn't keep the smile off his face. He looked at Zella and whispered, "They don't know how to do it. They're trying to intellectually b.s. their way to an 'A'. Huh, I can't believe it; those two brainiacs couldn't figure out the most important problem of the entire year! We won Zella. This is just too cool for words. I can't believe we did it, and no one else did."

"Chill Zig. You're gonna jinx us. Not everyone has gone yet. There could still be a group to present it before us," warned Zella.

"No way, Zella. You know if Victor and Christine didn't get it, none of the other losers in this class are gonna do it. We won!"

Mr. Donelly stopped Victor and Christine before their metaphysical treatise was complete saying, "Sorry guys you just don't get it. But nice try. Kudos on the b.s. scale, I must say."

"Okay, now let's see who will be next?" Mr. Donelly put his hand in the hat and drew out Zig and Zella's names.

This was it, the moment of glory. Zig and Zella grabbed all of their materials. Their solution was so cool that not only did they plan on showing how to do it, but they were going to have the entire class do it with them. The end product was just too amazing, the whole experience just had to be shared.

They had a pair of scissors and a piece of paper with strange lines drawn on for each person in the class.

Grizelda began, "We had a lot of trouble with this one too. But the answer came to us by accident. Zig accidentally punched a hole through a poster at the library and a piece of the paper flopped down. This got us thinking about what the first dimension and second dimension and third dimension really were all about."

"Yeah, if you think about straight lines being just the first dimension," said Zig. "Then an awful lot of straight lines could fit on one piece of paper."

"Yes and if you gave those lines just a bit of width you would move into the second dimension. You'd actually be using up flat area. We found if you don't waste any of the paper, if you use every single bit, there's a Huge amount of surface area to work with," said Grizelda.

"Yeah, here is where it gets cool. If those slightly wide lines are drawn right beside each other and cut so that they flop down over and over in a big zig zag, you can create an enormous hole. It's so amazing, but we knew you wouldn't understand if we just TOLD you, so we brought along some stuff so you could do it with us," said Zig. His enthusiasm had everyone's attention.

He and Zella passed out the scissors and papers and very soon everyone in the class was walking through the hugest holes imaginable. Most of them couldn't believe their eyes as they made them. The holes just seemed to take on a life of their own, they grew and grew and grew.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LESSON ZIG AND ZELLA PRESENTED AND TO TRY IT OUT YOURSELF.

Mr. Donelly broke into one of those fabulous math teacher smiles. He went to the front of the room and shook both of their hands. Then he turned to the class and said, "See I told you it could be done, and isn't it an elegant solution?"

*************

Epilogue:

Yep, Grizelda got her new teeth, and her new contacts, and her new hair. Next year she became known as, "Zella, that new girl, the hottie with the dark red hair."

Zig remained ugly but happy, because to Zella he became known as, "Zig, that gorgeous hunk who I love with every fiber of my being."

She and Zig remained soul mates for the rest of their lives.

*************

Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

 

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