Columbia College Chicago

March 7, 2014

Does anyone really know what time it is?

Groove this tune and read on:

This Saturday at 2am marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time (DST) for 2014. And with it comes the dreaded mantra, “spring forward”! For days after the start of DST, every clock you meet will have a different time. You will be constantly in wonderment as to whether the clock before you has been changed. You find yourself checking and re-checking the time, for every clock seems to say something different. And it doesn’t help that some ARE woefully wrong. 

It was not always this way. According to the Crystal Reference Encyclopedia, DST is “a means of making fuller use of the hours of daylight over the summer months, usually by putting clocks forward one hour so that daylight continues longer into the evening. This idea was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin, and later by William Willett, an English builder. Adopted during World War 1 by Germany in 1917, it was retained after the war by the UK, where it is known as (British) Summer Time. In the USA it was enacted in a federal regulation of 1966, but states were given the choice of whether to ignore it (and some have done so). Many countries now have some form of daylight saving time. 

Nor did it always go smoothly. In its May 12, 1967 issue, Time Magazine reported that “forty-five states are now keeping D.S.T.; still out of step are Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan. The ultimate in confusion is Kentucky; there local option prevails, and the state must therefore cope simultaneously with four different times! (Exclamation is mine!)

(Pssst! Need a fascinating topic for a paper or speech? Read up on DST in Seize the Daylight by David Prerau.)

OK! Back to the real world! And this affects you how?

An article on October 27, 2007 in the Chicago Tribune opined that the time change “can confuse the body’s circadian rhythm, leading to poor concentration, excessive sleepiness and difficulty remembering things”. So not good for a student, right? The article posits a quick method for sailing through the switch.

Quick is not always best. My recommendation for the coolest, best-est route can be found at:

Hurry, time is running out!

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