The penultimate bell rang, and my eighth period students filed in as I paused from grading a paper. Still so much grading to do, I thought to myself.
“I need every day to be twice as long as it is,” I said aloud to the handful of students closest to me.
“What do you mean?” one asked.
“I just need more time—more time to just get everything done.”
Some of my students nodded in agreement and sympathy. With their busy schedules, after-school jobs, sports, activities, and homework, I know many of them could appreciate what I meant. When I leave school, it’s almost impossible to get work done with the boys around, so I often find myself up early or late to steal some quiet time. Still, it’s never enough.
(Daylight Savings Time seems particularly cruel this time of year. Where did that lost hour go?)
Ever since I read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I have dreamed of having one of Hermione Granger’s Time-Turner necklaces. But now that I think about it, I don’t know if a Time-Turner is really what I’d want. A Time-Turner works by allowing the user to time travel. I’ve seen enough episodes of The Flash to know that there are too many unintended consequences of time travel that I’d probably rather not risk it.
Instead, I would like time to just stop for a moment or two—just a quiet pause. Perhaps what I need is a Time-Freezer—yes, that would work. I could freeze and unfreeze time. During these “frozen” moments, I could catch up on all the things I struggle to finish now. Then when I unfreeze time, things can continue on as usual.
Of course, there are all sorts of problems with this, especially if you start thinking about it long enough. After all, if I freeze time, does that mean the world stops spinning? The universe? What would be the consequences? I feel like there would be some, probably terrible ones. In the ancient epic The Ramayana, the evil demon Ravana stops all the “winds that moved the planets and kept the universe alive.” Would something similar happen if I stopped time? (and would that make me the villain?)
Perhaps there would be some limitations then. I couldn’t freeze time indefinitely, for example, nor could I freeze time whenever I wanted. I’d imagine this power, like all powers, could easily be abused if left unchecked. Maybe I could only freeze time only for really important things, although how to determine that seems hard to do. Certainly freezing time to save someone’s life—let’s say, to stop a deadly poison from reaching someone’s heart before a cure can be administered, or stopping a car that’s about to hit a pedestrian. But would it be okay to freeze time so that I can get more grading or lesson planning done? Suddenly that doesn’t seem as important.
Still, I wonder. Maybe instead of a Time-Freezer, I could opt for something a little more magical, something more akin to the Room of Requirement. Whenever the universe felt like I could use—and maybe deserved—an extra day, that extra day could magically appear during the week. It could be a day between Tuesday and Wednesday. I could use a mid-week break. It would be a day when the rest of the world would simply pause, and I’d could have a magical bonus day to just get things done. Maybe I’d use it to work, to cross off all the things on my unending list of things, especially on those days I feel most like like Sisyphus. Or maybe it could be a day to curl up with a book and read and read and read some more. It could be called Tweensday (as in in-between Tuesday and Wednesday) or perhaps Twednesday? Threesday? Freezeday? I don’t know. None of those names seem quite magical enough.
But I can dream.
This post is part of the Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers, who have created a space for writers and teachers of writers to come together. To learn more about this challenge, click here.