One of these days I am hoping to get a handle on the actual length of an hour. It still seems to stand for such varying amounts of time. The idea that the hour I spent on my sociology midterm was the same hour I spent toying with a bowl of melted frozen yogurt in Kline and reliving L&T with a few friends (man, wasn’t L&T so awesome?) is difficult for me to grasp.
Living in New Cruger (or North Campus Lite) as I do, I’ve found that it takes about ten minutes to get from my nice warm bed to my nice early class in Olin, whether I have those ten minutes at my disposal or not. Still, rooted deep within me is a firm belief that minutes are as elastic as pajama pants, and that when I really need to, I can count on stretching them to fit my travel time needs.
Need to get from my room to Olin with only four minutes till class? No problem, long as I walk fast. Time will wait.
Time knows what it’s like, after having gotten only five hours of sleep the night before (and the hours during which I sleep go the fastest of all). The distance between my door and the shuttle stop shrinks before my mind’s eye as I stare dully into my clothes drawer and ponder what to wear, with a minute to go.
I don’t think I’ve ever driven to catch a train without staring at my watch the entire time, fervently reassuring myself that minutes are, after all, individually quite long. You can drive pretty far in a minute. Sixty whole seconds! Eventually the minutes begin to expand before my very eyes. Each minute is a world within itself, a length of time during which anything is possible, if you only believe.
Showers also have their own special laws concerning time. I have been firmly convinced that I could take a quick two-minute shower, though in the morning that’s the length of time it takes me to figure out how my bathrobe works. I will go to breakfast at 9:58, two minutes before my class begins, and trust that I can toast a bagel in negative time.
I will also believe that I can write a coherent column on the afternoon it’s due.