I AM SUCH A DINOSAUR!

Said my son Adam some years ago.

You are probably wondering why he said this to me. Adam, now 19, and I were going somewhere, he was in his very early teens, and after getting into the car I asked him to wait a minute. That I needed to run into the house to get something that I forgot. Upon my return Ad asked me what I forgot that was so important. My watch, I replied. He then made the proclamation that I was a dinosaur. Yes a dinosaur. Can you believe that? Well maybe today but then. No way!!! I asked him what he meant.

Well he began to tell me that no one needs a watch anymore. My phone has a clock on it, my car has a clock on the dashboard, the cable box told us the time, so does the microwave, coffee maker, computer, and even our stove.

But, to this day I feel naked if I go out without my watch strapped to my wrist. I have come to realize that the wrist watch is no longer a useful device but is now a piece of jewelry.

So be it. Maybe I am a dinosaur fore I am of the last generation that knows what dialing a phone really means, I still read a printed newspaper (granted only on the weekends) and I still wear a watch (not as jewelry but as it was intended for to tell me the time). Now this does not mean that I do not embrace technology because I do. In fact I love technology and wish that I had the money to buy all the new gadgets that keep coming out. So I am really a dinosaur evolving.

So let’s take this one step further and to what I really wanted to write about. Time. Yes time. Some years ago when my boys were still in Elementary School, my wife and I went to Back to School Night. I noticed that in many of the classrooms the digital clocks on the wall were covered by an analog clock that the Teacher hung over it. So of course I just had to ask why. My son’s Teacher explained that the children had no concept of time since a digital clock was just a readout. Only by seeing the hands (and second hand) on the analog clock could they conceptualize the idea of time. They could see for themselves when they were told that they had twenty minutes to finish an assignment just how much time they had left. And it is true. I am a Scout Leader and my wife works in a School. We find ourselves discussing this every once in a while and it came up again just a week ago.

Alice, my wife, runs a Pottery Program in a day camp nearby in the summer. There is no clock on the wall of the Studio so she went out and bought one. It was an analog wall clock. One night she told me that many of the children could not read the clock or tell the time on it. Having seen this first hand with Scouting I wasn’t really amazed. Yet it does make me pause and think.

Time is a concept invented by man to help get thing accomplished. Probably to plan when to plow and plant the crops. I imagine that is how it began. First they judged time by the sun. When it rose began a day and when it set ended a day. From there it moved to counting weeks which became months which in turn became years. Before the concept of time no one got old. They just lived and then died. End of story. But no not the end of the story.

With the invention of analog clocks time measurement became more precise. A workday went from 9am to 5pm. not from shortly after the sun rose to just before it set. But not too precise. Remember when you would say “It’s a quarter to 3”? Even if you were off a couple of minutes who cared it was still a quarter to 3 or we would say “almost a quarter to 3”. But with digital time now it is 2:45 or 2:47. Much more precise. Now when we are late for work, we are 0:0:48 late and the time clock knows it and so does everyone in the office.

The more precise time gets the less healthy we are. Time causes stress. Oh my God if I don’t leave right now I will be stuck in rush hour traffic. Crap, I have been with this client 75 minutes (used to be over an hour) how will I make it to see all of my customers today if I don’t get out right now. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

But wait. Didn’t I just write that a Teacher told me that children today cannot tell time or discern the movement of time thanks to digital clocks? So digital clocks may actually be good for our stress levels, is some strange way. Whew I feel better already. Wait till I go to see my Cardiologist again and he sees just how low my blood pressure is and how relaxed I have become. And all of it due to my digital wristwatch strapped to my arm. I may even live to be a hundred now I am so relaxed (poor Alice now she’ll never get rid of me).

Oops got to end here. According to my wrist watch it is 10:07am and I haven’t eaten breakfast yet. If I don’t eat soon I may as well just eat lunch and then the day will be half over. And if the day is half over then tomorrow at this time I will be at work and I will have wasted my whole Sunday.

AAARRRGGGHHH. Freakin’ time. Screws up everything.

Till next time. There’s that time word again. We just can’t escape it. No really I have to go it’s almost time for lunch.

2:24pm- Post Script- Thanks to Samsung and Google Android the wrist watch will not die. It will now become Dick Tracy’s two way radio.

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