Amazing Race

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Back to School

Brook and Claire's cab must have been fairly fair behind because they're just now arriving at the supply depot. Brook reads where the clue says, "Pick a pair of wheelbarrows," and the next thing we see is her saying, "I'm going to do the wheelbarrow." See if you can find the disconnect in that sequence of events.

Jonathan takes a turn, and gets it right more out of process of elimination than anything else. "We got an A!" he yells, as though they weren't taking this class pass/fail. Or, more accurately, fail/fail/fail/fail/pass. As they accept their clue, Connor assures them that Princeton is a good school and, starts to tell the kids they should go if they get the opportunity. Just as he's realizing how stupid that sounds, Jonathan doubles down by adding, "There's an African studies major." Well, that was tone-deaf. The next clue is for a Detour. Too bad it wasn't in time to prevent Jonathan and Connor from getting to this classroom and embarrassing themselves.

Phil talks about how villagers enjoy "pastimes passed down by their elders," which is a polite way of saying, "No internet." We see the school kids in their brown-and-yellow school uniforms dancing in circles in the yard, but the racers won't be doing that, because that would be too hard. Instead, they'll be doing either "Bicycle Parts," in which they use a stick to roll a bicycle rim the length of an uneven soccer field and back without letting it fall; or "Language Arts," which is a little tough to understand from Phil's explanation. Each team will choose a paper scroll on which is printed a proverb. Each proverb contains eight highlighted phrases. Each of those phrases can be translated into a symbol from a "native visual alphabet known as adinkra. And then they have to go to a cloth that hangs from the side of a hundred-foot-long shed -- that's the entire side of the shed, so this is a very big cloth -- and find where the symbols in their proverb appear together and in order, like in a word search.

Jonathan and Connor are going to try that second one, so I hope for their sake they get smarter after leaving the classroom. They run and find the table of scrolls near the shed, and Connor says, "In Phil we trust" as he closes his eyes and grabs one at random. They open their scroll and then go find the decoder key, which is hanging on one end of that same shed. Looks like about 60 symbols are explained there. With that, they're able to start translating their proverb's phrases into simple descriptions of the adinkra symbols like "kidney beans, ladder, crazy." Kidney beans ladder crazy happens to be one of my favorite expressions. That done, they begin scanning the expanse of cloth for the symbol that looks like a ladder, thinking that'll stand out most.

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Amazing Race

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