I remember when I was in the fifth grade. It was in Oxford, NY where I grew up, at least through the 8th grade, after that we moved. My teacher was Mrs. Payne. At the time, if you'd asked, and I'd answered honestly, I'd have said she was a tough old bird, or something less flattering. She was very demanding, very demanding, always telling me that I needed to buckle down and start to live up to my potential. Also the only one that used the French pronuciation, saying my name, putting the accent on second syllable. Looking back a very special lady, who I didn't appreciate at the time.
I had a problem spelling the word mathematics. After the normal techniques failed, she discovered I had a weakness for Heath candy bars. So after that if I spelled it correctly she always gave me a Heath candy bar. Somehow after that I rarely misspelled mathematics.
I remember I sat in the middlle of the first row, right in front of her desk. She'd be at the blackboard teaching, lecturing and writing on the board. I can't count the times I'd suddenly be in another world, another place, another time. I might be myself, or someone else. I don't remember much it was 45 or 50 years ago after all. The thing was I'd suddenly start, almost jump, awake. I'd realize I'd been dozing, or daydreaming. Guilty, I'd look around, nobody seemed to have noticed. Nobody...amazing. I'd see Mrs. Payne talking, she didn't seem to have noticed either. It was double amazing, because it seemed to me that hours had passed, weeks even. But then I'd glance up at the big clock over the door, and the truth was it hadn't been more than a few second's possibly a couple of minutes, it seemed to have been a long time in my head, days, weeks, months, but only seconds, at most minutes, in real life, by the clock. Even more, that nobody had noticed.
It illustrates that time is deceptive, an illusion. I still vividly remember the feeling, that I had been living a different life, then was snatched out of it when I started awake, even so long ago.
Too, even now, back living so close to Oxford again, I often think about Mrs. Payne and wonder, she was one of my favorite teachers, one of the couple I even remember.