Over the weekend, I finished watching the Matt Smith era of Doctor Who, a TV show about a time-traveling alien called The Doctor. I also fell sick with a fever that seems to be going around Emory. Fortunately, the following delirium helped me clarify my views on the seasons where Matt Smith acted The Doctor.
When I get sick, I often semi-consciously tell a story with my symptoms as I feebly toss and turn. In this case, having also just completed a reading for my Introduction to Teaching class, I imagined a workforce of teachers moderated by Matt Smith's Doctor. Without spoiling the show, let me say that this Doctor thrives on paradox and changing not only the future, but the present as well by going into the past, sometimes even crossing his own timeline (one of the rules the previous Doctor follows is to never visit events earlier in his own life.)
The more paradoxical a teacher's life got, the sicker I felt. This isn't The Doctor's fault, since I was feeling sick anyways, but the irritation I felt when The Doctor seemed to break laws of time and space was mirrored in my feverish discomfort. As I see things, the main problem with interacting with a past self is that almost any present conflict becomes meaningless. I came to the same conclusion as many of The Doctor's enemies-- for me to feel better, I needed to take away The Doctor's Tardis (his time machine). That seems to have worked at least long enough for me to write this.