Monday, September 20, 2010

Synchronization Needed

“That didn’t happen last year,” Hubby said to me while we were walking this morning. “It was only four months ago.”

I sighed. The concept of exactly when the year begins and ends has always given me a problem. I may have stopped teaching in 2001, but my mind still considers the first day of school as the beginning of the year and the last day of school signifies the end of the year. July and August are in the twilight zone.

To reinforce my confusion as to when the new year begins, the Jewish New Year is in September. So, after spending two-thirds of my life thinking of the new year as September because of my career and religion, the concept that “last year,” ends before summer is engraved incorrectly in my brain. To me, January 1st signifies the end of the Christmas/Chanukah holiday festivities and the beginning of crash dieting.

I did a report on the Gregorian calendar, the official calendar for the Western World, while in college. I remember coming across information that the New Year wasn’t always January first. Through most of the last millennium, many parts of the world did begin the year in September and other parts began it in March.

Perhaps in my previous lives I was a member of the culture whose year began in September, thus I was born with a genetic tendency to resist the January first date. Or perhaps its time for the people in charge of calendars to realize that since folks spend the first 20 or so years of their lives viewing September as the new (school) year, that its time to make September the official beginning of new year. Either that or have graduation in December and begin the next grade in January. That way all the teachers and students in the world will stop confusing others and/or being momentarily confused when they say or hear, “last year.”

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