There were only a few weeks left in the school year. It was decision time for me.
Since we've had to live inside biodomes on the planet for almost 300 years to avoid the caustic conditions outside, year-round school was made mandatory. There was a two-week vacation in the beginning of June before the summer classes start up. They run into August, then there is another two week break before the fall term.
Every summer, teachers are evaluated and entrapeneurs send mass brochures to them to try to capture their vacation time with appealing, educational, and fun activities. The schools also encourage the teachers to go if it will enhance their teaching.
Some teachers go on one of these two week excursions and decide they never want to teach again! They find they are better suited for say the life of a botanist, or musician.
I have never endulged in one of these excursions. I'd rather take a break and relax at home, drawing the blinds on the children playing outside my windows.
But a brochure came in the mail that I haven't been able to stop thinking about.
"Archeological Dig! Come discover ancient secrets of the humans who knew Earth when it was the ONLY biodome!"
It was filled with pictures of people carefully extruding items from the packed soil. Most of it was trash, non-biodegradeables that we now can recycle or process. But sometimes you find whole neighborhoods and ancient tools or even coins that they used to buy things with.
So much of the humans' remains were eradicated in the nuclear bombs of 1,000 years ago, in the last World War. Many were vaporized where they stood.
The few humans who managed to make it bomb shelters had to wait many years to emerge and try to start anew. But the Earth was laid waste, soil unsustainable, dust blew everywhere. They went back underground and devised a way to build biodomes, even though it took them more than 200 years to develop their technologies over again.
There was something about finding some bones that appealed to me. If I found an ancient human, who lived and died out there, how much it could tell me! I could even reconstruct it's frame and muscles and skin digitally to make a holograph of it! I would get to name it! It would be like going back in time and asking them what it was like to live on a green planet.
I had carried the brochure around with me for a week. I was hoping something would come up at school that I could volunteer for; a special remedial teaching spot or something. But it never did.
I took out the colorful parchment and unfolded it. Maybe I should go. What could it hurt? I'd let my school principal know. He'll probably be ecstatic. And I'll go. I'll just...go.
Half in a dream I walked to the office. The students had left ten minutes ago and the secretaries were closing up. I found the principal in his office. I knocked on the door frame.
"May I speak to you?"
"Sure, I have a moment." He looked up from his papers and raised his brows.
"I've been considering going to the archeological digs this vacation."
"The museum getting you finally?" He joked. "I think you should go! It would do you some good to get out and enjoy your vacation! Find a hobby! Oh, and I stress hobby. We need you back here next year!" He smiled reassuringly.
"Alright then. Yes. I will go and explore this, potentially new, hobby." I said, still unsure of myself.
He dismissed me from his office by looking back down at his paperwork.
I walked home, feeling a bit apprehensive. I had a few weeks to contact the number on the brochure, acquire my ticket, and pack. As I opened the door and walked into my home, though, I wondered if I could leave it.