This class sounds COOL. It might disappoint, of course, but it's definitely one of the classes where Bella's glad she's not from such a big enclave that she can't justify doing her own homework. Probably big enclavers can keep some of their homework? They have to learn some things, right? Anyway, this class sounds great. It's a little room, small enough that she feels okay about getting started on checks herself while she doesn't know who's going to be in it to wait for or not.
Franklin does a similar strategy. When he gets a problem he's not sure about he makes a note of his best guess, then reads the book until he knows whether he was right or wrong and why, then keeps going with the assignment. His handwriting resembles a monospace typewriter font.
Theun does a lot of scribbling on the paper to mark 'or's and 'and's next to the symbols, and a moderate amount of muttering to himself, mostly to substitute specific statements checking that the answers make sense when they're complicated. This reduces as he goes along and gets used to the patterns.
Once Bella seems to be done with the assignment or when the lunch bell rings, whichever comes first, Franklin asks, "Would you like to sit together at lunch and look at the sketches?"
"Sounds good to me, do you want to take the table Suze saves me or should I just sit with Boston?"
Marcy and Kevin have shop today and are probably going to show up with a bunch of shop people, so it would be convenient for him to sit somewhere else. "I can sit with you and Suze."
"Cool, it's a plan." She starts reading chapter two in the remaining minutes of class, and when the bell rings she falls in with Franklin.
They have a boring adventure getting non-toxic food and then he can lay out the sketches! He has a clever design for a block of four bins, arranged in a square and sharing inner walls, each with its own double-layered lid on three sides of rails such that the agglos would have to tear off two rails to access the upper lid and then tear off two more to get out. "The main risk I see is that when they get the first set of rails off the inner lid it will fall down into the tank and land on them. I could try connecting the centers of each pair of lids with a chain or something if you're worried about them getting injured."
"Hmmm... could there be a post or something in the middle to prop up the lids if they fall?"
"I could add one but it would have to only be anchored at the bottom end and they might keep knocking it down. I could try making the rails deep enough and to tight enough tolerances that any one edge would be able to hold up the lid."
"Would it make things easier if you only did that in the starvation condition section? The others are all going to get tidbits and shouldn't be too desperate."
"The main difficulty is that it needs more glass and more care in sealing, because of the cantilever, but not a great deal more. I can do it for the starvation condition box first and see how my supplies of glass, epoxy, and mana are doing."
"Okay. I've told Suze I'll trade her for those, but I don't know if she'll have good luck in shop any more than I will."
"Of course. I could get started after classes end today."
"Neat. There's no rush, if something comes up, of course, this is strictly extracurricular."