Monday, 18 February 2013

Day 75: We need to talk about 'time'

Day 75 (18 Feb) Wake to news of yet another severe weather feature bearing down on the east coast. That's unfortunate because O Week starts this week and that means many good plans will have to be revised. It is also a bit tricky I imagine to try and get a sense of a new place when everything is wet and you see it from the inner edge of an umbrella. 

The coffee motif, at 6.12am
It is also not my favourite weather for driving. But that must happen.  But in a couple or three hours after rising early to work...yes, on that piece of self-effusive, contrived, faux-congratulatory citation that has dominated the past few days, I was at the computer. I'm returning to it shortly because work today, oddly enough, got in the way of getting it done. So at 6.12am I'd actually been at the computer for almost two hours. This is not healthy but it is a 'behind-the-scenes' look at what politically-convenient socially-accountable academics do. We're up at 4.00am to get some work done before the day begins. However, that is to digress and reflect another sort of day today. 

Now, I play in a community orchestra and rehearsal is on Monday nights. So far this year, rehearsal has been cancelled because of rain, or a limited section rehearsal was called. I haven't been required at every one, but nor have I made it to any this year so far. Very frustrating. In fact, at 6.12pm I was still in my office. Next week will be different, though, I'm sure. I'll be teaching in Brisbane, finished by 5.00 so I should have no more disruptions. 

Can I turn back time? at 6.12pm
So in keeping with varying the 'office with a view' 6.12pm moment, I took yet another angle from inside the cave. In fact, I was speaking with a colleague, explained my 6.12 obsession and took a photo at the appropriate time. Now, you might notice the clock on the wall...I hadn't realised until I took the photo that it is actually the clock that set me off on this 'time' quest. It is 6.12pm, but the clock says 3.44. (Honestly, I was actually at a welcome for new students at 3.44pm today, not in the office.) 

The clock stopped 13 months ago. I never quite got around to replacing the battery and in the meantime, I became interested in people's reactions to the time and what 'clocks' tell us about, well, us. People glance at clocks and watches a lot. In my office alone, I have the one on my wall, one on my wrist, one on my computer, one on my phone and one on my tablet device. Five. Should it matter if one doesn't work? When people remarked that the clock had stopped, I said yes, but it tells the time correctly twice a day...people would be in my office in the morning, look at the clock and suddenly think it was 3.44pm (even I have not been in my office at 3.44am) until sense kicked in. Almost everyone's initial reaction was to think it was 3.44, regardless of what they must have known otherwise. It's become a bit of a talking point. The other interesting reaction is when someone comes in about 3.44 (the actual 3.44), stays for several minutes and prepares to leave...time stood still, briefly.

Time: too much, not enough, always the wrong time, sometimes the right time; need more, need less; always governing our every move. 

This stopped clock got me thinking about time and how we react to it...indeed it got me thinking about the theme for this blog...the tricky part was then deciding which time to capture. 

You've no idea how close this blog came to being called 'fortyfourpastthree'...

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