Student stumbles into basement pond; gains full scholarship and a new friend
On Wednesday, February 13, an unknowing UW-Parkside student decided to take the apocalypse tunnels underneath the school to avoid the snowfall, thinking he would have less chance of slipping.
Thomas Peterson was wrong
“I thought it was oil at first, then I realized it was water,” the student said. “There was even green algae growing in it and I thought I spotted some tiny goldfish swimming in the gunk… So, I reached to grab one. Right after that is when I noticed the sign on the wall looked a bit different – the arrow was facing the opposite way.”
Thomas described falling into the tunnel’s pond like slipping off a wet wooden deck into a lukewarm swimming pool. The lava lamp-colored water had a faint chemical smell to it, due to it possibly being created from a dripping pipe above. He went on to describe how he tried to lean against the concrete wall to try to brace himself, stepped out of the overgrown puddle and went on to walk to class. The student tried his best to ignore the damp, bleach-like scent on his clothes while attempting to focus on copying down the lecture notes before his philosophy professor rushed to the next slide.
“I saw the orange fish maybe four slides into the presentation. The tail was flopping over the zipper on the smallest pocket of my black pack. I didn’t know what to do. I ended up putting it in my water bottle on the desk. The weird part is, the kid next to me didn’t say anything.”
Somehow, this dedicated student continued with the rest of his day as scheduled. He had the Down Home meal at the Brickstone; potatoes and beans, caught up with friends, studied in his nook overlooking the woods at the library and even remembered not to drink from his water bottle. Thomas then went online to pay his spring tuition, crossing his fingers that he wouldn’t have to sell them at the black-market to pay for his five classes.
“That’s when I really knew something was up. All my classes had been paid for. Amount owed was at zero dollars. ‘No outstanding fees at this time’. Couldn’t be real. I knew I had to go back to the pond.”
The pond was right where he left it, only looking a little cleaner this time. He thought that it was created by rainwater in the alternate UW-Parkside, a much more forgiving one. Thomas, with a bit more grace this time, climbed into the pond, held his breath and came up the other side. He shared his story the following Friday at a table on the Bridge. His only complaint was that his roommate, Josh, didn’t like the new fish.