Naps of Our Fathers
Sometimes, in life, you are faced with a great crisis. The forefathers of our country had to figure out on the fly how to invent a country, and they performed admirably. The greatest generation is famed for their resolve in the face of adversity and Nazis. Of course, these are pretty huge crises that we can’t really compare our own lives to (at least, I certainly hope not), but there are, still, certain events that try our patience and reveal to the world just what we’re made of. This past weekend was one such time for me, as I struggled to adapt to something all of us must endure: Daylight Saving Time.
For years I’ve harbored a mild grudge against the DST, as I think of it. Since I was born and raised on a tropical island (no, really), I never had to experience the pain and indignity of the DST until middle school. Talk about your rude awakenings (literally!). I still remember the conversation in which the whole idea was explained to me. “You mean,” I said, a naive, but very cute, sixth grader, “people all pretend it’s later than it really is, just to make some farmers feel better about themselves?” (It wasn’t really explained all that well to me.)
Still, for most of my life the DST was just another horn in the background traffic jam of life. One more inconvenience that wasn’t horrible, just pretty darned annoying. I mean, you lose a whole hour of sleep! An entire hour, folks! I beg my alarm clock for just nine more minutes of blissful slumber every time I hit the snooze button; a whole hour is, like, 6 times that! (Okay, course XVIIIers, 6.667 times that.) How unfair life can be. And it isn’t like gaining that hour back in the fall is at all worth it, I usually just waste it partying (“yeah! The DST’s over, woo!”).
But, like so many of life’s pains and indignities, you just get used to it. With the coming of springtime and warmer weather, I knew that the DST was coming, and I’d resign myself to my fate. Mentally preparing myself for weeks, I’d hardly flinch when the fated hour didn’t come. I’d use Spring Break, my birthday, and Easter as stepping stones to the Big Day. It was getting so that a guy could finally come to terms with losing an hour of his life, never to get it back again.
Then I heard the news about this year, and my soul made the sound of ultimate suffering. (My fiancée was pretty scared for a second, but thank goodness she doesn’t know anyone named Humperdink.) Not only did Congress fail to repeal the DST (as I’d been praying for them to do for years), they actually moved it up. Instead of losing an hour in the relative balm and calm of April, we now lose it in the lion-y wilderness of March. To quote the Internet, WTF mate?
While the reason given was something about saving money on electricity and fuel, and they probably threw terrorism in there just in case, I despaired and tried to fight the inevitable; alas, my plan just wasn’t crazy enough to work. We still had to face the DST this last weekend, and our lives are now the worse for it.
Surely I am not the only firstname.lastname@example.org who felt the DST’s cold sting. From what I understand, the week we are currently in the midst of is no picnic for many of us, what with mid March being prime exam, multiple lab report, and crazy p-set time. It’s as if we’re being taunted by the US Congress, “Hey MIT, your lives aren’t hard enough, we’ll throw this on you too! Hahaha.” Man, I hate politics.
Of course, life doesn’t close a door without opening a window, and when life hands you lemons you’re supposed to make lemonade. We must persevere together, as a nation, or at least as a school, and prove to the world that we can handle whatever curve balls life throws at us. We are the same people who ended slavery on a relative whim, and gave women the right to vote just as casually as we decided to impose an income tax. If we put our minds to it, we can succeed at this too! Sure it’s tough, sure it’ll be hard, but then, great crises so frequently are.