I had a class last night. We were in a room at the uni that I hadn’t been in before. The picture above is the view from where I sat. I was struck by the contrast of old and new; the modern(ish) classroom, with the glimpse of history just outside. I imagined that the window was a portal to the past; I could simply step through and would find myself in some oldy worldy historical times of yore (I’m not very good with history, so don’t push me on dates). Some might say I should have been concentrating on class rather than imagining the window as a time travel portal, but I say – where’s their spirit of adventure?
Maybe I would come across Shakespeare suffering from writer’s block, I could tell him about the future and his block would be instantly unblocked. I’ve always thought he missed a trick by not writing about time travel. Who doesn’t love time travel stories right? I’ve seen Back to The Future, so I know you’re not supposed to change anything if you go back to the past, but surely the addition of one little time travel play amongst all of Shakespeare’s works isn’t going to upset the space-time continuum too much is it? I’m pretty sure generations of school children would thank me.
Or if not Shakespeare, maybe I could help some peasants with their revolting. If I brought some IT equipment through with me, I could produce some posters which I think would help them get their message across much more effectively. (What do you mean the building on the left doesn’t quite fit with revolting peasant times? Stop trying to ruin my adventure!). Or maybe there will be a princess that needs rescuing, I can totally help with that, I’ve seen Disney films, I know what to do. And then if the princess wanted to let me try on some of her dresses afterwards to express her gratitude, well, it would be rude to refuse.
I asked my classmate sitting next to me what she could see out of that window, I asked if she could see the time travel portal too, or whether I was the only special privileged one. I wondered if she would tell me that all she could see was a modern office block and some cars. She didn’t answer though, she just gathered up her books and moved to another desk. Some people are so strange.
Given a choice though, I’d probably rather have a portal to the future. We already know a lot about the past, but we don’t have a clue about the future. I’d like to see what we’ve made of ourselves and the world around us in the near future: 25, 50, 100 years from now. I daren’t go too far into the future because there might be nothing left to go to, and then I might not be able to get back, I don’t really know how it all works, but I’d better play it safe. Maybe next week’s classroom window will have a portal to the future, and then I’ll be able to find out, in my imagination at least…
If you came across a time travel portal, would you choose to go forwards or backwards? What would you like to see? Do you wish Shakespeare had written about time travel? And do you think a princess would consider a pair of jeans to be a fair swap for one of her dresses?