Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Measurements and Time

After 6 months, I still have quite a bit of trouble with the metric system.

All the basics become a little more complicated.

Such as grocery shopping and baking.

Celsius...Talking about the temperature, especially when deciding whether or not to jump in the pool or lake. Is 17* C cold, hot? Multiply by ~2 and add 32 for Farenheit.

Dr's visits when discussing your height and weight. Saying, I am 5'8" and him staring at me blankly. He then suggests that I am around 1.7 or so meters. My blank stare now matches his... We then go the old-fashioned route and he puts me on a scale and then measures my height.

I remember when I was in grade school and the math teachers used to threaten that we would have to change our system to metric. We all would moan and beg that the rest of the world change for us... how silly I was.

But not only is it measurements that confuse me, it is also time. Don't even get me started on language.

Want to meet for a coffee at 16h? Um,... sure. 16h-12= 4pm. Okey dokey. Wanna guess how many times I just hear 16h and think 6pm... too many to admit. I have run like mad from my apartment to the gym to make a 16h yoga session to arrive and realize that I am two hours early. Insert sad trombone here. I suppose it is better than being late.

So, even though in reality, all of these things are not so complicated, they are each like learning a new language. The language of time, the language of measuring, the language of language. I stare at my kitchen clock and have to do quick math to make sure I really know what time it is. Sure, the mornings are easy. But once we hit 13h00 I feel like I have entered a whole new world.
I still work all of my recipes back into cups, I still subtract 12 from the clock, and I will always guesstimate on temperature. Despite being from one of the only countries that doesn't use the metric system, but uses our US customary unit of measurement, I do not think I will ever adjust. Just like Spanish or French, this will never be my first or most natural language.

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