The plane had taken off, and I was settled by a window determined to use my flight time profitably. A small clock was on my tray with a pile of typed sheets of paper beside it, and, pencil in hand, my glasses firmly on my nose, I intended to look neither to the right nor to the left until my work was finished! My task was to shorten a forty-five-minute lecture to a half hour, and I had decided that the space between Rome and Saint Louis would see the job done, if I concentrated.

“Will you have earphones for the movie? Two dollars and fifty cents.” The hostess was passing with an armful of earphones in plastic bags. “No, thank you.” It was a struggle to shut out everything and really concentrate, but I was getting along fairly well. The lights went out, but the individual lights could be kept on for reading. Then the movie started in the darkened plane. “Never mind,” I thought. “I simply won’t look up, and I can’t hear anything, so I won’t be distracted.” Suddenly shrieks came from the other passengers and my eyes were drawn to the screen. Jaws was being shown. Time after time squeals and shrieks broke into my thoughts, and my eyes shifted from my papers to the screen. I caught glimpses of waves splashing on a beach. People running, evidently in fear of the wide-open jaws of a shark as it demolished a human being out in the deep. Someone in what looked like a hospital. Then some sort of committee meeting.

What was I doing? Seeing bits and pieces of the whole and hearing no verbalized explanation. What a garbled account I would give of the film if I depended on the impressions my eyes were giving me, without the words. Yes, I was actually seeing some things with my eyes from time to time, but what I saw was inadequate.

Human ...

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