My fifth class was short, but only because it never took place. I’m blogging about it only because it has taught me another important lesson in my American experience: be punctual. But first, I should tell you why my sleeping pattern has become so irregular. Two words: time zones.

By the time it’s midnight in Illinois and I’m ready to sleep, a chat box beeps open on my laptop and someone in faraway Nigeria has woken up and wants to talk to me. It is six am their time. A little “hi” gradually turns into long phrases and sentences, and by the time my eyelids start closing by themselves, they somehow get the idea, and we part ways. It is not their fault but mine, for staying up beyond eleven pm when I should just shut down the blooming laptop and close my eyes.

"Good day class!"In today’s case however, it was none of the above reason. I was working on a translation task that took much of my time. I slept at twelve, woke up at two and slept again at five thirty. By the next time I woke up, I was thirty minutes late for my teaching class. I have never rode by bike as fast as I did today, and I got to campus panting like a deer. And silly me, I was still expecting to find the students waiting for me in class. I met only one of them the lobby, and I hurried up into the class to find an empty set of seats. Perfect. Back to the lobby, there was Bre reading, and waiting for her next class.

“Hey, where’s everyone?” I asked.

“We left.” She replied. “You weren’t there, and so we left.”

It was as simple as that.

It was another sharp reminder for me to wrap myself around the fact I’m no longer in Nigeria where students have to wait until the end of the hour for the teacher to show up in class.

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