Wow, this was quite a busy day! This morning, I attended my first day of Latin class, along with the other eleven rescued crash survivors. We only learned a few basic words; most of the hour was just an introduction to the class, in which the instructor, Dr. Alpert, basically explained the history of the language and why we need to learn it, despite the fact that most of the world considers it a dead language. His explanation seemed rather vague, something about Latin being the "language of the enlightened" and honoring the original inhabitants of this island who spoke it. I'm not sure how easily I'll pick this up, but we'll just have to see.
After that, Ben Linus came in and assigned each of us to a different job supervisor, based on the skills questionnaires that we filled out the other day. My supervisor is a man named Danny Pickett, who's interested in my experience as a civil engineer. Get this... he wants me to help his team design a runway on the island, capable of supporting a Boeing 737! They're at the very beginning stage of the project; they haven't even picked out a spot to build it, nor do they even have the construction equipment or the materials they need. They basically need me to help them figure out what it would take to allow a large commercial jet plane to take off and land on this island. It's a crazy undertaking; you can't just clear off any flat surface on the ground, you need to build it out of a special material to support the plane's weight and the traction of the tires, plus you need enough clearway free of obstacles for the plane to take off and land. Danny said he's aware of those concerns and knows that they can't build a standard airport runway, which is why they need me to help them determine what they can build out of what they have. He showed me a few locations that they've considered using, including two on the beach and one in a valley inland, and I knew right away that none of them would work, and I explained why. Danny said he'd take me to another location tomorrow, on a smaller island about two miles from this island, to see if there's any place there that they can build a runway. At least I'm getting to explore new locations. I gotta admire these people for their ambitious goals!