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An Introduction to Time
I do not have enough Time to tell you everything. You will get used to it being such; I already have, but you certainly have not. There is a reason why this is a beginners’ class. I will teach you the basics--the rest, you will discover on your own. If you truly belong here, you will.
I assume you are expecting a welcome. I am not a teacher who gives welcomes. I am not a teacher who says goodbyes. If you wish to remain in my class, you will get used to it. Now, does anyone have questions? No? Well, I do not take questions at any time you wish to ask me one. Time does not work that way.
Good, good. You! What is your question? Yes, you, boy in the blue shirt. You are only one with your hand raised. Now, hurry, we don’t have all the Time in the world. What was that? What’s your name? Emmett? Well, Emmett, I’m sure we will get to know each other very well in detention. I am certain that you and I will be very close. Starting today. I’ll see you after class.
Now. Does anyone else have any other questions? And not ones such as Emmett’s. Real questions. Yes? Girl with the braids? What is it? Rosamund. All right. What is your question, Rosamund?
Can you repeat that so the class can hear it? Listen, everyone. That is a great question. She asks, what makes us able to Walk and others not? Now, Rosamund, that would take hours to answer, and we do not have that much Time. But I will say that it has to do with our fluxatory capicitator aptitude. There is a certain mitochondrial reaction in our cells to cramyite, and thanks to our machines, we can Walk without any trouble. You could say that our mitochondria contain a special, cramyite-magnetic component, but we have yet to discover exactly what it is. I cannot go into the specifics, but I can say that if you are looking for an interesting read on the history of Walking and how it works, the book A Moment in Time may be helpful to you. A dear friend of mine, Ian Pendleton, wrote it. Here, let me write down the title for you…
Settle down, class! Honestly. Rosamund had a very good question, and now let me pose one for you: why are you here? Why are you taking this class if you do not share her interests? Introduction to Time was optional, you know--you could have chosen something like Intro to Polycifer, or Advanced Tangibility, or some other class. You know what I mean. But none are more important than the one you are sitting in. So, please, listen to what some of your classmates have to say!
Excuse me? I asked for quiet, boy in the back. Jonathan, you said it was? Well, Jonathan, you now will join Emmett in detention. Your classmate’s abilities are not something to laugh about. Now, class, you may laugh all you want at these two boys who do not find it necessary to follow basic, societal rules. Actually, those rules will be the first rules we’ll discuss--when Walking, it is important to learn the societal practices of whatever civilization you come across, as not to break the fabrics of Time or be detrimental to our current society.
There is one more thing I would like to tell you before I begin. No, Emmett, it is not about Time. It is this. You may, now, be wondering if I give detentions left and right, throwing them around like some of your other teachers do. I do not--I limit myself, in fact--but let me assure you that I do not tolerate insolence in my classroom.
Yes, what is it? You, with the dress. Daisy, is it? You look familiar. Are you Lyra Trenouth’s little sister? Oh, I see the look on your face. Lyra was a smart girl, though overly sweet and obliging. But I will not compare you to her, trust me. In my book, you are a new person, and the only expectation I have of you is to ask your question.
Ah. Insolence is a word that can be defined, unlike Time. Speaking of which, our Time together is limited, and I do not want to waste it on a question that can be answered by one of you. So, Daisy, you may look up the definition of the word insolence during your free period. Tomorrow, you will present to me your findings and how it relates to Walking and Time. All for extra credit, of course.
Now, now, all of you! Settle down! Of course you may have extra credit. I’ll tell you what--anyone who does not understand a specific word I say may indulge me just as Daisy will, and provide me with the definition and relations to Time and the way in which we Walk during class tomorrow. You must clear the word with me first, though, or your work will not count.
Finally, we can get down to business. You see, there are two types of Time that we will study in Intro to Time. There are infinitely many categories and names for Time, but the two that are most commonly used and deemed as “official currency” by our government.
The first is Perceived Time--we see it as a sieve, a collective jar of memories, each of which we dropped in at a certain time. The ones we do not need, that are not significant, fall through, and we are left with raw thought. This is the Time that we decide is obvious to exist, the one we live in continuously, but one that does not exist. Perceived Time is a paradox, because we trust our eyes and minds, we trust the lies they spin from golden thread. You should be taking notes, Jonathan! And you, too, girl in pink. Kelsey, then.
No, I did not tell you take notes. Taking notes is an obligation, Kelsey. I should not have to tell you to write down important tidbits that will supplement your learning and help on your final exam.
Anyway, our eyes and minds become the first things you must learn not to trust when you Walk. Even raw instinct can prove to be troublesome at times. You see, our instincts are designed for this Time period, and this dimension, but as we Walk to places that are not this Time period, or this dimension, our instincts are not wired correctly. An extremely skilled traveler learns to develop new instincts--rewire their own, you could say--to deal with this prominent issue.
Real Time, of course, is more like a stew. Each moment is mixed in, and has always been, for each was added at the beginning of the cooking. We can hop between them at will; maybe the easier metaphor would be stepping stones. Yes, that’s perfect. Make sure to write that down. In the river of Time, there are stones--moments, in reality--that, though they are positioned in different places, all of which are in the same river, in the same vicinity to each other. We can leap between them in any particular order. This river, though, is infinite, you must remember that.
So, yes, you may think of it as sieve and stew, but you may also think of Time as a river. We will delve into Time in the next few classes, and eventually, you will navigate it on your own during your final exam.
No, Emmett, we will not be jumping into a stew. Or, rather, the class will not be. You, on the other hand, will. I hope you remember to bring swim trunks! Oh? Well, I’m sure I can conjure up some stew from somewhere. That’s why we have Enchantments, isn’t it?
That must be the bell! Here is a list of supplies you’ll need for my class. Take note, it is not much. Oh, and you’ll need the syllabus, it should be here...yes. You’ll find enclosed in your lists. Don’t forget the vocabulary, Daisy! And Emmett, Jonathan, I look forward to seeing you two later.
Yes, you have a nice day, too, Rosamund.