This week (most of) the United States fell backwards an hour with the switch back to standard time. For those who have trouble remembering when to turn the clocks forward and when to turn them back, the beauty of an English language that offers homonyms and nouns that double as verbs has made a simple sentence to remember: "Spring forward, Fall back."
Gain an hour in the fall, lose an hour in the spring. If you're single. Or have older children. If you have young kids, you will be completely unable to gain or lose that hour as kids seem to believe their stomachs and sunlight more than a digital clock. Darn.
A couple tidbits about time changes that you may not have known:
- Residents in Arizona and Hawaii are fortunate enough not to have to worry about changing their clocks twice a year, although they also don't get the joy of adding an hour to a fall weekend ... a joy I'd gladly pass up to keep the sun setting later in the evening year round. In my ideal world, the sun would never, ever dare to set before 7:00 p.m. (Noteworthy: While Hawaiians and Arizonans don't have to consider time change, their relatives living in other states, however, must remember that the time difference is variable which could be sort of a nasty chore.)
- We do not change our clocks at the same time as Europe. We're two weeks earlier in the spring and a week later in the fall. (They are last Sundays in March and October; we're second Sunday in March and first in November.) That means we get three weeks extra time admiring a later sunset. This I am happy about.
- Prior to 2007, we changed at the same time as Europe in the fall and a week later in the spring. The President has the power to change when the time changes, and George W. Bush did just that. I guess I have something to thank you for G-Dub. Though I'd prefer if you just abolished ugly, dark Standard Time altogether and threw us into permanent Daylight Saving Time. (We were first Sunday in April and last in October. Europe was still the same.)
- The fire department wants you to check your smoke alarm batteries when the time changes. Did you do it? Go now.
- In the southern hemisphere, the clock changes opposite of the northern hemisphere to match the seasons "down below." Which means there is a wide variable in time differences across time zones between hemispheres. Families straddling zones and hemispheres may need an advanced mathematical degree to figure it out! (Or a iPhone ... those things seem to know it all.)
Want to know more, including which countries don't make the switch at all, and who the first person credited with suggesting daylight saving time is? Read more about it at Time and Date.
So how does this fit into a writercize? Remember my fall back, spring forward thing? You have to create a shortcut to remember the change on your own! It can refer to the time change in general (like the season and direction above) or get specific about the weekend ... or it can somehow address the difference between states/countries/hemispheres in how they participate ... or the fact that you gain an hour by falling back and lose an hour by springing forward - a concept that seems to keep a lot of minds I know running in circles. Good luck! And please share!
writercize: Create a simple phrase that can be used as a way to remember those pesky time change rules.
Click "read more" for writercizer sample response, and please leave your phrase as a comment or link below! I prefer my second take, but am not one hundred percent on either yet!writercizer sample responses:
(Remembering the weekend)
Every March, on the second Sunday
time jumps ahead to stretch the sun's ray
But then, the first Sunday of November
time turns right back to the dark we remember.
(Remembering if you gain/lose sleep)
Time turns back in the Fall for an extra long dreamthen flies ahead in the Spring cutting short the moon's beam.