Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Setting of the Clocks

In a "normal", household one usually sets clocks during daylight saving time or if the power had gone out, but in our household, setting of the clocks is a rather regular occurrence. Peter, when you least expect it, will change the three clocks in the kitchen, that would be the one on the stove, the one on the radio, and the one on the microwave. These three clocks are the ones that I rely on to get me wherever I need to go and need to arrive on time. These clocks that I glance at frequently, when I have timed myself done to the minute, and know if I leave exactly at 700 AM, I will reach my destination with a few minutes to spare. I, never wanting to waste a minute of my time, prefer to arrive with no minutes to spare, and love that feeling of breezing in, with a sigh of relief, knowing I made...just made it on time. That has worked quite well for me these past years, and I must admit, I an usually never late, right on time, not too early, but usually never late.
However, add the love of Peter to change the clocks and that smug feeling of "I made it on time and I am in control" is only a fleeting memory. For Peter, in his own unassuming way, does not say, "Mom, today I am changing the clocks, so please do not pay any attention to the time", no, Peter quietly, quickly, without any notice, changes the time on the clock, not by much, maybe just 10 or 15 minutes, a small amount so it can and does go unnoticed as the day or days pass by. And then it happens, when least expected. I in my need to use all my daily minutes, calculated to the minute when I should leave my house, am relying on those very precious clocks to inform of the time I need to leave my house so that I will arrive to my meeting or classroom filled with students. The very important mechanisms that will get me to where I am going on time. Only, I did not notice that Mr. I Like to Change Clocks had put the time back 15 minutes. So, as I now am down to the last few seconds, still confident I will arrive on time, I land in the front seat of my car, turn it on, and than, and it is only then, I look at the clock in my car and I realize it is not 700 AM or 100 PM, it is actually 715 AM or 1:15 PM and now, that 15 minutes I need to arrive on time and appear as if I am in control....gone! The voice goes of in my head that sounds like this....PETER!! And I now frantically race to my destination. If you would ask me how many times this occurrence has taken place in my life, I would honestly say more times than I can remember. You see, Peter, does this when you have had just managed to forget the previous event. He changes those clocks with such efficiency and with no notice that one forgets this can occur.
Yesterday, I was done to the usual race and needed to get to a class so my students could take an exam, and yep, when I landed in my car was when I realized I was lacking the 15 precious minutes that I need to arrive on time. Racing across town, and cringing when I fly by the three police officers, I manage to skim into the classroom in a nick of time.Yes, I made the skin of my teeth! Maintaining a demeanor of calmness, I begin explaining to my students, who are really wondering why their instructor is cutting it so close on the day of an exam,telling them the Peter story, secretly wondering if they are buying into this "excuse". Wondering, would I believe them with such a story? They laugh, and now they ask for the password to start the test. This week, for some reason, I chose the password "peter" , I tell them the password is peter...NO! That would be PETER!!!

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