Monday, March 9, 2009

Time out!

Leslie suggests, wisely I think, that I keep my vaccine opinions to myself.
My signal-to-noise ratio got knocked down a bit this month.
I am a teacher, no more, and, of course, no less.

Studies suggest that this disconnect between body time and clock time can result in restlessness, sleep disruption and shorter sleep duration. Other studies have suggested links between time change and increases in heart attacks, suicides and accidents, though scientists say more study is needed.

New York Times
March 10, 2009
But we do it anyway....

Blame the European monks--living by the clock is a very recent development. Before mechanical devices, we relied on the sun, the moon, the seasons. The monks regularly prayed together. Ironically, modern time-keeping has pulverized free time. Who has the time to pray anymore?

I do not have a watch or have a cell phone. Not a digital bone in my body. I am amazed that some people are amazed by that--we are surrounded by clocks.

I usually wake up a few minutes before the alarm goes off at 5:30 AM. Today I got jolted. I do not adapt well to folks screwing around with my clocks. Still, worse things can happen.

About 350 years ago, the British finally succumbed to the Catholic version of the calendar--despite its papal origin, the Gregorian calendar works better than the Julian. The Julian calendar adds about a day every 131 years--and this adds up.

As part of the changeover, September 2, 1752, became September 14th. The whole year was about 20% shorter than other years because of its late start (March 25) and the missing chunk of September.

Imagine if Rush Limbaugh controlled the pamphlet market back then.

So we "lost" an hour. We'll get it back in the fall.

And really, nothing happened. The mourning dove still called out as it does at dawn, the crocuses opened up as the sun rose, a few mayflies hatched out by the pond early this afternoon.

I got to walk in the dark to school, cranky and tired and feeling a little less superior than the sparrows who slept as they always do, guided by the sun.

A few of us will suffer heart attacks this week because of our addiction to artificial time. And you thought fluoride and milk were dangerous....


Kate T said...

My alarm went off at 5:45. I too was jolted awake. I turned the alarm off and one minute later it was 6:15. Really. A blink.

The timing of this seems worse because I am sleep deprived from two days (and two nights) with the junior class on our social justice "retreat." And the elementary school students in my daughters' district have to start those high stakes NCLB mandated tests today. Where is the sense in that?

In the words of Warren Zevon:I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Stratoz said...

nothing like the entire world filled with jet lagged folk. actually my students were OK today????

John Spencer said...

People call me crazy because I don't own a cell phone or a watch, either. I don't use an alarm in the morning. My body wakes me up any time between four (in the summer) and five (in the winter) and I go to sleep when I'm tired. I have a prep period after lunch and if I feel like it, I take a nap on the couch in my classroom. Call me a self-righteous neo-Luddite, but I refuse to succumb to a mechanical universe. I'd rather live in a monastery without walls.

doyle said...

Dear Kate,

Hard to believe the NCLB tests start this week--what were folks thinking?

I've heard the Zevon quote before, and it's clever, but I really like sleeping when I'm tired.

Dear Stratoz,

Mine more than made up for yours--they were zonked at 7:45 AM, woke up by 10. A good day, though, overall.

Dear John,

Every time you write, I want to steal something from you--living in a monastery without walls sounds ideal. Maybe we can form a club: The Self-Righteous Neo-Luddite Outdoor Monk Society.

Andrea Hernandez said...

I have to disagree with Leslie. I am very much looking forward to reading your thoughts about vaccines.

Interesting that heart attacks are more likely when we "spring ahead" and ease up when we "fall back."
Mornings have never been easy for me. I have always been a night owl, not the type to jump out of bed before the alarm clock rings. I find the first few mornings of daylight savings time especially difficult.
Try as I might, I am not able to fall asleep early enough to mitigate the effects of the earlier wake-up.

Jeremy said...

Even though I got up at 6:30 this morning, I don't think I really "woke up" until about 10:00. My students didn't seem very affected by it. I'll get used to it by the end of the week, I hope.

John Spencer said...

This will become one of the very rare moments that I defend my home state. We don't have daylight savings time. Blame it on the southwest-cowboy-libertarian streak that runs through this state, but I think it's great.

momomom said...

Today a visitor asked me where a pay phone was...I had no idea. Finally we found one, but I was about to take him to my office area to use my cell phone.