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WORRY A DAY: DAYLIGHT SAVINGS November 6, 2009

Posted by lizrosenberg in Uncategorized.
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One of my favorite poems is by Steven Bauer, called Daylight Savings, where he talks about having the illusion of time in his pocket as a kid, thinking, “I’ll save it.” But there is no saving it. Instead what we do is twist it like a pretzel.

 

I vaguely remember when Nixon came up with a plan that would make sure little farm kids didn’t stand around at bus stops at five in the morning, in the pitch dark. No one wanted that to happen. Wasn’t that the beginning of this daylight savings plan? Well, first of all, let me admit it’s hard for me to trust anything Nixon did. Second, maybe we shouldn’t be sending our kids to school so early that they are standing in the  dark. Every study shows that children need more sleep than we give them. Teenagers especially, but all kids. Remember when school ran from nine to three? That seemed sort of reasonable. Now I really do know kids who have to be in school by seven, seven thirty. It’s not human. It’s not good for them. And they don’t like it. So if you want to stop kids from standing around in the dark, stop sending them to school before dawn.

Meanwhile, no one I know gets this mythical extra hour of sleep. We go to bed the same time as usual, which means an hour later according to the clock. Then the next day of course we wake up at the usual time, an hour early according to the clock. It takes a week or two to get used to the clock. Meanwhile, darkness drops down like an old crow, earlier and faster than before, like darkness on speed. Who is this good for? It’s bad enough that winter brings shorter days and longer nights. At least let us adjust to it gradually. There’s something vaguely natural in that. I don’t want to fall back. I don’t want to spring forward. I just want to let things alone for awhile. Maybe daylight savings can be one less thing we all need to worry about.

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