So I was working the top of #19 the other day I was talking to my teammate about what we had studied in college. Part way through our conversation we got a phone call from the bottom so he went into the lift house to answer the call. This happens quite a lot and it seems most everyone on our team has taken it for granted that at any given time we will have to stop mid-sentence to deal any number of reasons. Anyway back to the story. I was thinking about studying history and I remembered how in my Junior year of high school my history teacher told me that I wouldn’t have to do the daily work in class, he knew I already knew it all so he’d just give me full credit for those. I would still have to do tests and I did help out the people around me and participated in class but I didn’t have to physically do it.
I then remembered a day in class in my sophomore year in high school in World History class. This is a story that will probably terrify/entertain a few people (particularly my dad). So we had managed to work our way up to the First World War in our class. My teacher decided that a great way for us to learn about the diplomatic situation in Europe at the time was to create a scenario for us to play out in groups. He created a map and it had half a dozen great powers like in Europe. The only one I can remember the name of was the Tsarist Russia analogue, Sandia if I recall correctly. The group I was in was the Germany analogue. Each group was given a small fact sheet for our countries, our political, economic and military situation and some general information about the other nations. Sandia was large and had a nominally large army but it was poorly ruled and had roving bands of rebels or something to that effect. My Deutsches Kaiserreich analogue had a Alsace-Lorraine analogue in the form of a forested and industrialized region that the France analogue wanted. Now I had a bit of insider information thanks to an acquaintance of mine in a different class period. I knew about a secret alliance between two of the other major powers, the Great Britain analogue and the France analogue I believe. And I decided to put that knowledge to good use.
Knowing that piece of information proved to be a big advantage in my terrible, evil scheme. I believe all the groups had designated one person to be the diplomat who would run around and try to coax other nations to ally with them against everyone else. The goal of this exercise was to show us how delicate the situation in Europe was in the summer of 1914. I decided a better goal was to completely subvert that process and basically recreate 1815 and I made the Great Britain analogue Napoleon’s France. I sent off our diplomat to the France analogue with instructions to get them to turn on their secret allies, the Limeys, and join us instead. They came back and announced they had done it but it cost us half of our forested region. Not the best solution but it worked. We then managed to get the Russians with us and with that we had completely undone the Triple Entente in our game. When the game ended and we all announced who we had declared war with I got to deliver a bellicose, blowhard speech announcing that it was my nation who was responsible for created the six versus one war that had just broken out. Being 14 or 15 years old at the time I’m sure it was very pretentious, sophomoric, annoying and possibly a bit scary. Luckily I’m cripplingly shy and no where near as charismatic and gregarious as my brother so the likelihood of me presiding over a Alexandrian conquest of the world is small. But I thought it would be a good story to share here.