As a teacher, I’d start each school year with anxiety dreams. I’d find myself late, or running down the school halls in only a slip . . . you know, anxiety dreams. And thank heaven they were just that! However, British educator John Billingsley, of Mytholmroyd, U.K., experienced a spacetime slip that truly did land him late to class. (See original TWIDDER account on Cynthia Sue Larson’s website.)
Isn’t it funny how time flies, sometimes? Not just when you’re enjoying yourself, necessarily, but also when it seems to have some agenda of its own. Then—maybe—anything can happen.
In autumn 1995, I was scheduled to teach a day school on my pet subject, archaic or “Celtic” heads. It was to be at Bradford University, a familiar 30-40 minute drive from my home. I set off at 8:30 a.m., to have plenty of time to set up the room before the class started at 10 a.m.
It was an uneventful drive, and I was a bit surprised when I arrived to find that all the students were already gathered in the classroom.
I made a joke about them being so keen and arriving so early, when I glanced at the clock; it said 10:20 a.m.
This was not funny. I am very particular about punctuality, especially when teaching, and I had deliberately set off in plenty of time.
The course organiser and students were concerned at my absence at the scheduled start of the class, and the organiser had phoned my home, where my wife was able to confirm that I had left at 8:30.
Somehow, the journey had taken just over twice as long as it should have done, and there had been no accidents, no heavy traffic, no interruption in the journey. I was shaken, to put it mildly, and could offer no explanation to the students—just a wry comment about the strange effects these stone heads can have.
I got the class making their own heads out of some clay while I gathered the teaching material together, and the rest of the day went without a hitch, but I never could work out what had happened—why had time flown?
I did another dayschool on the subject there in October 2000, and this time got there without being hitch0hiked.