I am an embarrassment to every science and math teacher I ever had

Every morning around 6:15, before the sun has even considered rising and the owls are still out hunting, I take Suzanna for a walk around our neighborhood. I’m not a morning person, but I like these early morning walks. I like the dimly lit windows of my neighbors’ houses, and I like still being able to see the moon and stars. I can hear the birds waking, and I can smell coffee on the air, and I can think clearly and slowly before the rush of the day really sets in.

And so I do a lot of thinking in the mornings–a lot of contemplating and a lot of figuring. Which is how it came to be that for the past two mornings I’ve been pondering an issue so complex and mind-boggling I’m still not sure I have grasped it completely: Daylight Savings Time. Every spring and every fall I am completely and utterly bewildered by Daylight Savings Time. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reason it was established many years ago (to support the work schedule of a predominately agrarian society), and I understand the resetting of the clock thanks to that little mnemonic device (Spring Forward, Fall Back). What escapes me is this: what time is it…really? I am never quite sure if I will wake the morning after a time change to darker or lighter skies. For weeks I walk around saying to myself, “Now, it’s 11:00, but my body thinks it’s 12:00. Wait, no, 10:00. No, wait, 12:00. No….” Thank God I keep these thoughts to myself. Until now, of course.

And thank God none of my neighbors walk their dogs at 6 in the morning, because this is what they would have heard (yes, sadly, out loud) for the past two mornings as I revisited this conundrum in anticipation of the October 30 time change:

“Okay, when the time changes it’s going to be even darker in the morning when we walk. No, wait, I thought in the fall it was supposed to be lighter in the morning. Okay, if I set the clock back to 9:00 before I go to bed at 10:00, in the morning when I get up at 6:00 it will really be 5:00. Wait. If at 10:00 it will really be 11:00, then…wait….”

It’s not really necessary for you to hear the rest; it’s more of the same. You’ll be happy to know I finally got it this morning, and while I can’t really explain it to you, I am certain I understand it. I think. Wait. Yes, I’ve got it.


3 thoughts on “I am an embarrassment to every science and math teacher I ever had

  1. Ok, get this: I went to a math and science high school. For which I had to apply and take admission tests.

    But I don’t get “Spring Forward, Fall Back” at all. It’s much the same as you (except for me it all boils down to, “Which is the GOOD one? Which is the EVIL one? Which one STEALS AN HOUR OF SLEEP FROM ME?” And I never know. I have to rely on other people (ahem, Cait) to sort it out for me.

    For the record, I have similar difficulties with “the former and the latter” which involve me doing mental gymnastics and reconstruction along the lines of “She said elephant first so that means elephant is the… former… because former means the one beFORe… right?” Every. Single. Time.

  2. This is why i hate the transition. Personally I think we should just stay on happy time (I mean daylight savings time — the one we go to in the spring where it stays lighter in the evening) all the time. I mean, it just makes fall so damn depressing not only to be losing daylight in the evening just as a natural process, but then to have it all the sudden get so much darker in the evening just jump-starts my hibernation mode. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I actually were allowed to hibernate…

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