It’s as if the whole world is on fast forward. Sitting down to write this month’s column, I can’t help feeling it’s only a week since I sent in the last one. Getting my daughter ready for her weekly tapdancing class on Tuesday, I had the impression that I’d done the same the day before. I still have to concentrate when writing a cheque to ensure I don’t date it 2009.
When I was 14 my history teacher, Ms Trebst, explained to the class that one’s concept of time changes with age. A five year old has to wait 20% of her life from one Christmas to the next, she told us, while for a 50 year old, the interval is just 2%.
We were sceptical. Ms Trebst had a reputation for getting things wrong. For a whole lesson, she’d talked to us about “Visgoths” before we pointed out that as it was spelt Visigoths it must be pronounced Vizzy Goths. “What, like Fuzzy Bear?” she gasped in disbelief, as if this tribe of barbarians couldn’t possibly be called something that sounded a bit cuddly.
Ms Trebst was also renowned for debauched habits. To mark multiple-choice tests , she’d use her cigarette to burn holes in a sheet of A4, making a template for where the right answers should appear on the test paper. She offered extra marks if we stapled chocolate to our homework. But at least she marked it properly. Another teacher failed to spot a cake recipe that my friend had embedded in her essay to test her theory that he graded your homework according to how much he liked you. She got an A.
But time was on Ms Trebst’s side. I’ve been around long enough now to know from first-hand experience that she was right. I perceive everything to be happening 7 times faster than my daughter does, because the ratio of our ages is currently 1:7. It must be tough being a new-born baby. That first day in the big wide world, it must seem literally like a life time between the first feed and the next. No wonder babies cry so much.
Oh well, better sign off and email this column off before the deadline – then sit down tomorrow to write the next one.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Of course, it will be over all too quickly, but don’t worry, there’ll be another one along before you know it.
(This post was originally published in the December 2010 edition of the Hawkesbury Parish News.)