Tag Archive: time


Time Perception

This morning saw the end of Daylight Savings time, meaning we set our clocks back an hour. Naturally, to accustom myself to the change, instead of going to bed at my bedtime, I stayed up an hour. By one in the morning, I was pretty tired, but getting to sleep in all this morning was lovely. Quite lovely.

This evening, I’ve stayed up to my customary midnight, which would normally be one o’clock previous to today. However, it doesn’t feel like one in the morning to me. It feels like midnight. Even though I’ve been going to bed at the same time each night for months, going to bed an hour later feels exactly the same as long as we call it the same.

This is pretty interesting to me, considering I’m obsessed with knowing what time it is. Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, I roll over to see what time it is. Whenever I’m in class, I have to know what time it is. Whenever I leave to go somewhere, eat food, watch a movie, do my homework… I have to know what time it is. The arbitrary symbols that represent what time it is for me have a profound effect on the way I live my life, on the way society has lived their lives.

I can claim this because I know what it feels like to live without knowing exactly what time it is every second of the day. My family is pretty big into camping. Though our way certainly isn’t the only right way to camp, we consider it the ultimate way to camp. We go four or five times a year to the same two or three spots, like clockwork. When we go, we lock our cellphones in drawers and bags, we don’t wear watches (they just get in the way, in my opinion), and we don’t even think about the outside world for at least four days, maybe more (except when we argue politics around the campfire).

While we’re camping, I go to bed earlier, I wake up earlier, and we don’t eat at regular times. While we’re out there, amongst people that I admire and adore, it seems very timeless to me. I don’t compartmentalize my days or hours, I just do what I feel like doing. I feel free.

Research shows that with the invention of electric lights, people started going to bed and waking up at later times. This is obvious because you could work and do stuff much later into the evening. Your day didn’t depend on how many hours of daylight there were.

Just to sum things up, the perception of time affects the way that life happens and that’s an interesting enough concept to bring me out of hiatus. Speaking of which, I haven’t posted for a while because math homework consistently gets the better of me. I’m getting back into the habit of writing, though, with the start of NaNoWriMo 2013. I’m not writing a novel, but I am blogging and writing articles as well as writing my thoughts down in a very fancy schmansy Word document that no one gets to read EVER.

Toodles.

This is the second installment of a series of blog posts that I plan to do between now and the end of May where I talk about things I remember from public school/high school. In this post, I am going to talk about my experience on the Science Olympiad team during the last six months. You can read the first post here.

It honestly doesn’t seem that much time between when I signed up for Science Olympiad in
October to now, the eve before our state competition. I want to write a little bit about it before I go to state because I need to organize my thoughts before I turn off the lights and lay awake in the dark where my mind finds the most horrible outcomes of a situation and turns them against me.

Before:

Even though we’ve only had two regional competitions, I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I did procrastinate my studying quite a bit, but I picked it up before it was too late and I did better than I thought I was going to (as an individual, anyway, I wanted to rock everyone else’s socks off, but it didn’t happen that way). The thing about Science Olympiad was that it was less about the effort of a team and even less about the effort of a pair of people and more about what I could do on my own.

I learn things on my own well enough, I watch documentaries and read Wikipedia articles for
kicks, I just rarely learn anything overly useful without prompting. I honestly didn’t think I would do any studying for Science Olympiad. I’m just not a person who studies, but as my previous post will tell you, I’ve never done anything that really required me to apply myself (besides math, where I didn’t apply myself at all). The thing is, I’ve always loved science, even though it was a little upstaged by my passion for English. English was my main thing where I sat down and wrote words down on a page or typed them into a computer. Science has always been what I do when I’m sick of sitting down. English is something you learn, something you apply, but Science has always been something you do.

That may not make any grammatical sense, but for once, I don’t care. There’s always been a curiosity inside me that I can never quite satisfy. Perhaps I grew tired of my family always
questioning why things happened and never finding an answer. It may be one of the reasons why I hate rhetorical questions as well. With science, there are no unanswerable questions. You can experiment over and over to find the answer. It may not be a perfect answer and it may not even be the right answer, but at least we’re looking for it instead of throwing questions onto a page to think about but never engage.

The more I think about it, the more excited it makes me feel. I’ve never been an adrenaline
junky and I always try to cling to safety. English, to me, is a safety blanket. I understand what is going on with words and language and communication. I don’t need to think a whole lot about why the words do what they do, I just need to let them lead my thoughts into a place where theories are made and hypothetical situations reign.

Science is my risk. It’s hard and I always risk failing. There are things that I need to understand and there are lines and walls that will always remain impervious to prodding (unlike the english language, filled, as it is, with exceptions and accommodations  and can never be justified away.

Science makes me feel like I can take chances and do things that are hard, even though I’m a lazy person who is likely to give up. Science makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something that no number of finished novels, sitting on my harddrive, can make me feel.
As I talked about in my last post, achieving even a small amount of success in science gives
me the confidence and the audacity to try hard things. Hard things that I never even imagined myself doing. Science is my secret love affair.

Tomorrow morning, I will be on my way to my final competition, after months of independent
work. Work that I am proud of for having made myself focus on something that I would need to apply in the future. I’m horribly nervous, but I feel like I can keep my cool for this. I’ve always been a good test-taker.

After:

My love of Science persists and grows larger. In a second, I’m going to dive right in, but I’ll just say that State Science Olympiad was the exact opposite of what the Regional comps told me to expect.

We had to wake up early and drive for forever to get to The University of Utah, but the drive was not annoying at all. First of all, no one wanted shotgun because that meant you’d have to sit in the front seat with our coach and no one wants to do that, so I had no opposition in claiming shotgun. I hate riding in the back seat because I like to see where we’re going and the front seat is always much more comfortable. Everyone else in the vehicle fell asleep, but my coach and I had a series of conversations about television and heart attacks, which was fun. Teachers are the best conversationalists, I find, so it’s interesting that students don’t ever want to talk to them.

We arrived and were stationed in the Jon M. Huntsman Arena, which is just this massive circle. When I first walked in, I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff. We found the area we were supposed to sit in and then everyone who had an event time in the first round left for their events. I didn’t have an event at first, so I just sat in a seat and started next week’s AP Chemistry homework. When I left for my first event, I was completely lost. Unlike Westminster College and Weber State University, the sites for our Regional comps, The University of Utah is MASSIVE and not at all navigable

As a side note, the way people in Utah tell directions is by the mountains, which run north to south along pretty much the whole length of Utah. Whenever we leave Utah, we lose all sense of direction because we don’t have the mountains there. Unfortunately U of U is right on the side of the mountain, so it was like the mountain was surrounding us and I couldn’t get myself oriented. Fortunately, there were maps everywhere, so I reached the building I was supposed to be in within fifteen minutes of leaving “home base.”

I met my partner, Kayla, in the hallway outside the room we were supposed to be at and we sat for a little while talking about her first event. One of our test coordinators let us into the room so that we could get situated (and he also gave us pastries). The event was Anatomy and Physiology and our Region experience was not comforting at all. We had about 60 stations and we had, like, one minute to answer the questions. The State competition only had 10 stations and we had 6 minutes for each.

Our first question wasn’t very encouraging, so we just guessed, and the second station wasn’t much better, but I knew a few elements of the question from watching that movie Hawking (the one about Stephen Hawking)(I tried to explain how I knew the information, but Kayla didn’t know who Stephen Hawking is… seriously, we’re at a SCIENCE Olympiad and she doesn’t know who Stephen Hawking is…). The next station made us as giddy as kindergartners. We got to look at the cross section of a REAL, HUMAN KIDNEY. The event coordinator even told us that we were allowed to touch if we wanted to… which we did… more than was probably necessary.

Next was a question that we surmised the answer to, even though we didn’t know anything about the filtration rate of blood. There was a sphygmomanometer and stethoscope sitting next to the station, so Kayla took my blood pressure while we were waiting to go to the next station. The event coordinators laughed so hard when they saw us.

The next station was about a disease and the treatments. Kayla’s CNA class helped with this one and we provided a pretty good answer, but I couldn’t help answering the question of treatment for the patient with “A hot shower and a good long nap” after Kayla was finished.

The next station was A REAL, HUMAN GI TRACT. We were allowed to see and touch the rugae in the stomach and stroke the small intestine, which was so amazing. We did the same with THE REAL, HUMAN HEAD…. well, it was half a head, but still. Some guy had donated his body to science and science had cut him up for our amusem…. uhh… education… We may or may not have poked his brain, tongue, and nasal cavity…. He also had a crazy eyebrow. They seriously just took a dead guy’s head, cut it in half, and stuck it in a container so that we could identify parts of the brain. It was the coolest thing ever and we were geeking out so hard, you have no idea.

My next event was Forensics, which didn’t really go well because we didn’t have time enough to get everything done and we didn’t really know which suspect to accuse, so we just accused two of them because of evidence found on both. My partner, Kendall, and I aren’t really sure we did all that well, but it was really fun, even if it was overwhelming. I feel like I would have had a blast if I were given enough time to methodically go over all the evidence and work in a lab that wasn’t filled with so many other people. My main thing was that I didn’t have to carry our forensics kit back up the hill. Kendall carried it for me and we chatted as we walked up the hill, even though my next event was way out of the way.

The only time I’ve ever talked to Kendall was when I needed to tell him about our event because he’s a sophomore and I’m a senior and we don’t run in the same circle of friends at all. Come to think of it, the only reason I know things about him at all are because his dad is my AP Chemistry teacher and our Science Olympiad coach  I doubt I’ll ever communicate with him again, even though we do have 3D Animation for fourth hour together, but he’s a pretty intelligent guy and he’s not so bad, even if he’s a squishy, squishy squashmore. Anyway, I digress.

My next event was Circuit Lab, an event that I’ve been preparing for for only three weeks. It’s funny because my partner, Jason, and I both decided to do the event because we both have dads who work as electricians. Unfortunately, our Region competition went horribly. We didn’t know how to build a circuit and we didn’t know enough to solve any of the theoretical problems. We did take 4th place out of 32 schools, but we didn’t know anything. So, for the three weeks I had, I studied like mad for this event. Unfortunately, Jason didn’t have time to study, so he wasn’t a whole lot more knowledgeable about the event this time.

I was totally ready, though. We finished everything we had to do in plenty of time and I knew how to answer all but two of the problems. I don’t think I got all of them right, but I feel like I have a chance of getting a majority of them right. Not to mention, I could build a circuit now and we were able to do more on our practical lab portion than draw pictures of bunnies and stick figures saying witty jokes about electricity.

Last of all, Jason and I walked across campus (yet again) to our Chemistry lab. We were so confident about it because our Region event went super smoothly. This time, however, none of the answers we got match the table we were supposed to be matching things to. We followed all the steps the way that the example problem told us and we titrated our basic solution correctly, but we just couldn’t make the numbers work. In the end, with five minutes left, we just guessed on every answer on our score sheet. There were probably ten multiple choice questions that I just circled random letters for and we identified the substances with the ones in the provided table without any evidence to support the answers. We’re probably going to place really low, but we feel like we still have a chance that we got all the answers correct by guessing.

We hitched a ride on a golf cart back up the hill to the Huntsman Arena and back to the rest of the team and then we went and got food.

It was so much fun and, even though I didn’t eat anything all day long until around 4:30 this afternoon (my hands are still shaking), I felt fantastic and I still love science, even though it has taken a lot out of me during the last six months. Now I have to focus on the AP Chem test that will take place in less than a month. I’m not freaking out yet, but I know I will. I just hope my teacher has a lot of materials for us to study, otherwise, I won’t know how to do anything. I’m also going to make him tell me how to figure out the titrations lab thing or else it’s going to bug me for forever.

I know that no one could possibly make it this far into a blog post, but I have over a hundred blog posts and almost no following at all and I keep blogging. I’m pretty sure that I do this for myself mostly. If you did happen to make it this far down without killing yourself because of my inability to write concisely, I applaud you, but I question your sanity if you can read through this and not quit.

Toodles.

P.S. If you want to know my event placings, you can go here.

Next episode in the series.

Lightning

362px-LightningK This book is my favorite book. I always forget that whenever I’m not reading it, but when I am, I know that it’s my favorite. The first time I read it, my brother lent it to me and I spent years afterward looking for it. When I finally did find it, there were two copies at the local DI, which seemed unfair to me since I had been looking there for so long.

You will like this book if you like time travel. The time travel in this novel represents what I believe time travel would be if it were possible, no matter how much I love Doctor Who.

It’s hard to explain just why this book is so fantastic to me, but I think it’s mostly due to the connection to the past. I think a lot about the past and a lot about the effects of changing things in the past. There’s this fantastic motif of how knowledge and hindsight can affect how decisions are made.

One thing that kind of bugged me was this idea of destiny that kept coming up throughout the book. It did make for a more robust plot, but otherwise, I disagree with the idea of destiny for the most part.

There isn’t a lot I can say about why the book appeals to me without spoiling it. Anyway, this book should be read by you. All of you. Now.

In my head, the title of this post had an entirely different set of implications than it does now that I see it on the screen. It reminds me of the Legend of Zelda games. No one really talks, they just make noises and occasionally laugh, but Link goes throughout the entire game never responding to anything with more than a nod or a confused look. I think the mood of the game would be entirely different if he did respond.

Anyway, I was going to start off talking about boredom. When it comes to just about every non-adult that I know, people get bored so easily that I’m surprised that there aren’t armies of hyper-motivated kids running about getting things done. I’m not really sure of what is going on in the brain when you’re bored, so I’m not even going to guess (though I may look up an article later, if I suddenly become motivated), but one of the things that couples with boredom is lethargy.

Now, I rarely get bored. I probably say that I’m bored, but I have a hard time actually feeling like I need to get up and do something or have something to do. I do, however, get lethargic. In fact, I am usually very lethargic. I’m a very passive learner. A lot of people are/claim to be hands-on learners, which is magnificent, but I would actually rather not get my hands on anything. When we do labs and such things in my science classes, I always imagine myself getting into the things and doing it well, but there’s always the moment when we’re actually standing in the lab with our stupid goggles on and I panic.

I know people who refuse to go on dates to a movie because of the decreased amount of interaction they can have with their date. People usually feel the same way about education. They need to interact with it and put forth physical effort in order to learn it, but I would much rather sit in a classroom and have a teacher lecture me about a subject or watch a documentary (which I do pretty often).

This need to be doing something in order to have gratification leads people to be bored, I believe. It’s probably the reason that I rarely get bored, coupled with the fact that I have a hard time keeping track of time.

Whenever I go to physical therapy, they have me lay on heat pads for fifteen minutes. They turn the lights off and close the door and I lay there staring at the ceiling. I have no way of telling time because my phone is usually in my pocket and I’m wearing one of those highly fashionable gown things that tie in the back and hang down past my knees, so I can’t get to my pocket. Most people would find this infuriating. There is nothing to do, though sometimes I can hear music playing in the waiting room or the therapist having some sort of conversation with someone else out in the hallway. I don’t find it boring, though. I really like just laying in the dark and not having to do anything.

Another example was yesterday while I was out with my parents buying my mother a new mini-van. I didn’t want to stay home with my little brother and sister because they’re annoying, so I opted to go with my parents, who are a little less annoying. We drove around a bunch and we ate lunch and then we drove around in a bunch of mini-vans before my mother had decided on one. This took several hours in which I just sat in the back  seat of whatever vehicles and half-listened to my father talk about car-buying. Then while my parents were inside this building thing with the old-guy salesman who flirted with me at one point (this actually happens to me a lot), I decided to stay out in the car.

First of all, I don’t like going into places where there are people and the van that my mom got is SUPER dark inside and I like the dark, so I sat in there for nearly an hour and a half. I didn’t have any music, though I could have used my phone, and I didn’t really want to do anything, so I just sat there thinking about whatever. I like doing that.

Now, I know that once you’ve turned 8 or 9 years old, it isn’t cool to have an imagination any more until you get to high school and they tell you to be an individual, which you do by having the same sorts of ideas as everyone else, BUT… I like to pretend. That’s what I do when other people are being occupied with boredom. It sounds pretty dumb and maybe it is, but I think it actually helps me with my ability to come up with a believable scenario with no major plot holes. Sometimes I think of the plot of a novel I want to write and run through it in my head, working out all the bits that don’t really make any sense.

Sometimes I talk to myself about things (this blog post is quickly becoming a confession of sorts, isn’t it?). In fact, the next blog post that I plan to write (on the topic of expectations), is a conversation that I’ve had with myself before. If I notice something about someone, sometimes I discuss it with myself until I’ve worked out a bunch of things about it. I don’t specifically remember all of them, but I think it helps me understand things better. I’m actually really bad at understanding things, so I spend all my extra time thinking about things so that I can understand them like people I know all seem to.

My thought processes can’t really be described as “adventures”, but it sounded like a good blog title in my head and I’m not changing it.

Episode that scared you the most:

Blink, Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, and The Waters of Mars.

Blink: for obvious reasons. I think everyone who has watched Blink has been emotionally damaged by how scary it is. I think I’ve already discussed why I think Blink is so scary, but then again, I don’t like roller-coasters, so maybe it’s just me.

Time of the Angels/Flesh and Stone: Almost same reason as Blink, but it’s twice as bad as Blink because there are FIFTY MILLION WEEPING ANGELS. Also, the fact that the angels are actually killing people in this one makes it even creepier.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances: Because of the child and the people in the hospital. What I hate about it, though, is the whole Jack is a jerk thing that goes on, but thankfully Jack is a quick learner.

The Waters of Mars: I swear, every time the Doctor is getting chased by some crazy monster who has a contagious condition, it’s always super dramatic and creepy and crazy. This is also my least favorite episode because the Doctor has a freaking mental breakdown at the end and tries to control Time and fails at it miserably.

Saddest Episode:

The thing about Doctor Who, Steven Moffat in particular, is that they read your mind, figuring out the worst possible thing you can imagine happening to your favorite characters, and then making it happen. That is the reason why Moffat is so accurately labeled the biggest troll ever. Frankly, his writing style is my favorite thing ever. He has no qualms with taking a beloved character and making them SUFFER. I, myself, try to kill off most of my characters at the end of the story, if not all of them. The world should thank writers like that; if we didn’t get to kill characters in books, then who knows how many real people we would end up killing?

Anyway, the saddest episodes are the one where Rose “dies”, the one where River “dies”, the one where Ten regenerates into Eleven (the one where he “dies”), and all of the ones where Rory “dies”. Also, the one where the doctor has to wipe Donna’s memory (I didn’t want to mention it because she doesn’t “die” and I wanted to keep the pattern up, but it’s very sad…).

Interestingly enough, whenever someone actually dies, it’s like, “Oh, darn, someone actually died… BEAT UP THE BAD ALIENS!!!!!!!” yet the really sad parts are when people “die”. All of the instances when people ambiguously die, but really are becoming inaccessible, such as the examples above, it seems to be so much sadder. Moffat is brilliant like that. To just kill them would be sad, but to have them still technically be alive but unreachable is TRAGIC.

Once I wrote a novel about time travel and after my main character spent all this time trying to fix all of the things that had gone wrong in time under the impression that she would be able to return to her normal life, she finished to find that she would cease to exist and another version of herself would take her place and then she sort of becomes lost in the darkness of space. Of course the scene could have been way more sad than I wrote it because when I think that I’m going to write some deep, emotional scene, I get lazy and write what happened. That’s why I rarely let people read things that I write seriously, because they are usually awful.

Anyway, as long as Moffat is in charge of Doctor Who, everyone is going to be miserable and yet strangely compelled to continue watching. He’s a freaking warlock like that. We’ve been magicked. Good luck with your hopes and dreams.

I’ve had this kind of reoccurring dream over the course of my existence involving a maze/labyrinth in a forest that isn’t really a forest. It’s not really a maze or a labyrinth in the usual sense, but it is a series of rooms in a building and it’s hard/impossible to know where to go, not that my dream self knows that there is even a place to go. The forest part comes in as the walls are painted to look kind of like a really dark forest, but whenever I dream about it, I think, “Oh, hey, I’m back in the forest”. I guess it’s worth mentioning that I always know that I’m dreaming when I’m in a dream. Like some people wake up from a dream and go, “Oh, good, that was a dream and wasn’t real”, well, I don’t do that. I can immediately spot a dream when I’m having it.

Anyway, in a dream that takes place in “the forest”, I am usually trying to get from point A to point B for some unknown reason and I can’t ever get there. Well, I should say that I can never get there unscathed. The only time I’ve ever made it where I was going, I was first attacked by a pack of wolves and then I went insane, so reaching the place I was going did me absolutely no good.

Insanity- Another reoccurring theme in my dreams.

This time around with “the forest”, though, I wasn’t trying to get somewhere, I was trying to get something. Like I was going to dash in and then come back out, the problem being that I couldn’t do that for some reason that was a little fuzzy during the dream.

The point is that I actually like “the forest” quite a bit. There are a bunch of different places that I dream about frequently, but I really like the forest because for some reason, I can always get out if I need to. Even though it’s a maze/labyrinth thing, I never get stuck in there. I frequently end up where I started, which is frustrating, or I just can’t find what I’m looking for, but I always come back out. It’s probably a metaphor for something, but I’m not very knowledgeable in dream-theory, so…

Another theme I really like, whether in dreams or literature or television shows, is time. There are a few songs about time that I really like that I’m going to use as basis for books that I will write someday (but I haven’t yet). But there is this poem that I have to analyse for my AP Literature class that talks a little bit about time, death particularly. I also like the idea of death, I mean besides just killing most of my characters off at the end of whatever story I am writing. Someday, I will write a book that is so overwhelmingly nostalgic that everyone will cry. I’m just not sure how to do that right now.

Last of all (chronologically, but weirdly mentioned first…), I dug around in the garden today and found some worms. Worms are awesome.