What I Hated the Least Today 123/365: Commute Cycle

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Commuter's triple vision
Commuter’s triple vision

After six weeks of commuting and teaching, I have settled in the routine so well that I perform it while semi-conscious. Today I perfected the drill and went through the day half-asleep. The teaching went smoothly and I fit among the habitually half-asleep students just fine.

Then I dozed off on the bus. I woke up to find myself in the middle of a field. Fortunately, I was still on the bus. Disturbingly, I was rather disoriented. I went through the obligatory series of existential questions: Where I am? Who I am? What am I even doing here? WTF?

What discomforted me most was that I couldn’t remember if I was on my way to work or on my way back. I searched for clues. I tried to recall if I had had my meagre slice of crisp bread already. If I had, it would be noon (I teach afternoon classes) because I eat that thing for lunch. If I had not and if I were hungry, it would be evening.

I had no recollection of eating anything and I wasn’t hungry either. That was extremely puzzling. Then it occurred to me that I could just check the watch. This brilliant solution worked because it was seven pm, hence I must have been on my way home. What a pleasant discovery. In case you wonder, I’m writing this post while fast asleep.

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24 comments on “What I Hated the Least Today 123/365: Commute Cycle”

  1. Did you come up with any answer to the question “Who am I?” I’ve often wondered about that, myself 🙂

    Brilliant idea, looking at the watch! I do remember falling into deep sleep, like you describe, on the bus, and I felt awful waking up. An immediate infusion of espresso would have cleared my mind but … no such thing until later.

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    1. I skipped the Who am I question because the Where am I question took priority. It is awful when you fall asleep on public transport and then wake up feeling like in a nightmare. I was quite pleasantly surprised that I managed to get mobilised in so far that I arrived home without getting run over or something. The cat would miss her food.

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      1. Gawd, you should see the rituals going on here, in the mornings with the cat. I spend probably two hours here, before I give him food. He knows EXACTLY when two hours are up, then then it commences … the paw on my arm, the big eyes, the meowing 🙂. There’s no way I could sit here a few minutes longer than usual.

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    1. No worries, I didn’t actually oversleep! I just woke up totally disoriented, but it turned out that I was right where I was supposed to be. On the right bus on its way to my home town, which leads across fields because it’s an agricultural area – and industrial too, but I know the industrial complexes the bus passes so I wouldn’t be so confused as I was with the field. Today I MUSTN’T fall asleep. I’m already bracing myself for not sleeping…

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    1. Haha, yes the alien abduction did crop up in my mind! It turned out everything was alright really, even the frighteningly empty fields. I was just in between cities on a motorway and didn’t miss my stop. Fortunately, I go from terminal to terminal, so there is no way the driver or the steward of the private line wouldn’t notice there is someone sleeping on the bus past the terminal.

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    1. I’m sorry to disturb 😦 But the experience was disturbing for sure! Nothing happened really, I was where I was supposed to be, but I thought I wasn’t and I couldn’t get oriented for quite a while. Well, as it happens when a person wakes up on a bus… The cat would hate to get her dinner late, you’re right! No excuse for that.

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  2. It is pleasing to see you acquiring the true skills of a good teacher, sleeping through lessons and then finding yourself in one of those awful situations where you awaken disorientated…..I had one of those once driving my car and coming to a roundabout I had driven through thousands of times having that terrifying feeling of where do I go now?

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    1. I, too, believe that a good teacher performs his teaching while half-asleep. It’s for the best when the teacher isn’t too alert and doesn’t try too hard. A too eager teacher only confuses the students.

      The roundabout story sounds surreal. I can totally visualise it… Curiously, I repeated the experiment on a consecutive day – I sat back in my seat on the bus, listening to some soothing music, and I naturally dozed off again. The very same scenario was repeated – I woke up wondering whether I have already taught my class or whether I am on my way to teach it. And again, it was the better variant – I was on my way home. I seriously should stop sleeping on the bus though.

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      1. I found the easiest way to deal with sleeping during lessons was to front the class the next day and ask them what we had done the day before. That way they reminded me, they suddenly had a flash back to the previous lesson and instantaneously we were all on the same page. Often lost yes, but lost together. It created a beautiful sense of belonging.

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        1. That’s a good method! The trouble is that it requires active engagement on the part of students – and mine routinely refuse to answer questions. (Such as, How was the test, did you think it difficult? * stubborn silence * ).

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          1. Have you tried responses to them like: handing back their exam paper and saying as you do: I’m pleased you are not as silly as you look.

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          2. Uh, I’d hate to lie to those kids. I’m afraid the results of their mid-term test merely confirmed my initial impression that most of them know nothing. I don’t blame them. Why try when we’re all going to die.

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