Monday, August 9, 2010

Telling Time



It has been a long time since I have slept the night through. At least I have finally found a way to go back to sleep relatively quickly. It used to be once my mind started thinking I couldn't go back to sleep.

When I do awaken, I always look at the clock to see what time it is. I have the clock Mom kept next to her bed for years. It is very similar to this one. This morning when I looked at it, it was almost 3:15. Then I rolled over to try to go back to sleep and saw the digital clock on Bud's side of the bed. It said 2:15. So I looked back at my clock and realized, yes, it was 2:15 - "little hand on the hour, big hand on the minute."


That old reminder started me thinking about how I learned to tell time and the differences in clocks over the years. Friday I heard a list of ways you could tell how a person was over 30 - one of them was: "If they are wearing a wrist watch, they are over 30. People younger pull out their cell phones to check the time." I'm sure there are also young people who cannot read a clock with hands because they are so used to digital timepieces.



This example looks very much like what I made in grade school to learn how to tell time. We drew a circle on construction paper or oak tag, wrote the numbers around the circle (usually after many tries to get them close to the right spacing), cut out a long dial and a short one and used a short round head paper fastener to fasten the dials in the middle so they could be turned. (I don't think we used paper plates for the clock faces. I think my kids did that.) Then we began practicing telling time until we got it right every time we were tested. I distinctly remember that the big hand on 3 and the little hand on 4 (or any number) could be told as "four fifteen or a quarter after four". If the big hand was on nine, it was either four forty-five or a quarter to five.


It was all a bit confusing for a little kid. Scads of work sheets and lots of practicing with our hand-made clocks taught us how to tell time - and we were slaves to the clock thereafter.

Now, in retirement, time does not matter as much, except that it seems to go faster than ever. It is easier to see the hour glass trickling down.


"Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
into the future....." (Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller)

No comments:

Post a Comment