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My sister tried to explain time zones to me. She told me, "When's it's 9 o' clock here, it's 6 o' clock across the country." Then when I saw ads for movies that were playing on TV that said they started at 9, I got really jealous of the people across the country because I thought that they didn't have to wait as long for the movie to come on.
When I was 4 or 5 I thought there were only four ways to tell time. something-o'clock, something-30, a quarter till, and something-half passed.
When I was little, I thought time was cyclical, and that the numbered years cycled around like the days of the week or the months of the year. I asked my mom "when will it be 1978 again?", and the response "never" invoked in me an existential fear I had not known before.
When I was about 5 or 6 years old, I thought in order for it to be morning, the whole world had to be asleep. So I saw many of my neighbours lights on, and I was like great! Now I have to wait for them to sleep for it to be the next day.
That was before me learning about time zones.
I used to believe that time zones were a gradual thing, and as you travelled towards one or another, you would go a few minutes ahead or a few minutes behind. So, when we travelled to my grandmother's house a half hour away, I would always think we were about 5 minutes ahead. It wasn't til I was about ten and somehow it came about me telling my mom that it was okay, we wouldn't be late because we gained 5 minutes on the drive over that I was set straight.
I remember when I was a kid someone tried to explain the Theory of Relativity to me but I completely misunderstood and thought it meant when time seems like its going slow because you're bored it really was going slower
When I learned that the two alternative circular motions are called clockwise and counter-clockwise, I was told that clockwise is called that because it is the direction in which a clock moves. This misled me about why counter-clockwise is called that. The prefix counter is used to mean opposite or reverse, so this name means that counter-clockwise is the reverse of clockwise. But I thought that there was something called a counter clock, which is like a clock but goes on a counter and moves the opposite direction.
Also, I'm not sure if this ins't a misinterpretation, but I think that we call it counter-clockwise here in America, while people from the UK call it anti-clockwise, which sounds like a better name to me.
I thought my age started at 4, because I couldn't recall any mention of my age before.
I used to think that a holiday would take place throughout an entire month. So, during each day in October, I kept saying it was Halloween.
Then, after finding out that Halloween is the last day of October, I was thinking that every holiday was the last day of the month.
I didn't originally know that years were numbered. I was like WTF when I was in kindergarten and my teacher always read the date, and it ended with the number 2003, and I didn't know what that number was.
I think I finally figured it out when it became 2004 as December became January.
I used to believe that when an ambulance came by, we should touch red, because the person in the ambulance was someone we knew. I also used to believe that African Americans like me were never slaves, until roots came on TV.
When I was young I believed that Christmas was the last day of the year. It made sense, I was a child of a practicing Catholic family and I thought Jesus's big day was supposed to be the last day of the year. So what were those couple of days in between Christmas and New Year's? I believed those were just leftover days, as if someone didn't do their calendar arithmetic correctly.
When I was very young I had a subscription to Sesame Street magazine, and a January issue had, of course, a New Year's section, which was the cycle of the months illustrated by different balloons in a circle, all labeled. It stuck with me in my head, and from then on I believed I could "see" time in my head - a visual cycle of months (although I think when I got older my mind changed the balloons to little calendar pages).
Once I grasped the big picture of 12 months becoming a year, I started picturing the years too: Each cycle, labeled by year, the current year being on top of this huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge spiral of years, and looking downward you see the past. Thing is, I can still visualize it in my mind now, and it is depressing to realize how far away the year I got that magazine is now! D:
I used to think that time zones were much smaller than they actually are so that if you left the city you lived in you would be in a different time zone.
My grandparents took me camping when I was about six and asked if I'd like to ring my parents after lunch. I told them that they'd be asleep because it was the middle of the night at home, even though we were only an hour's drive away!
I used to believe that on day light savings time we would gain one hour of sleep every night up until the spring when we would lose one hour every night.
I used to believe that the days marked on the calendar with a slash dividing two days were half days so that about mid day it would switch to a week ahead then back again for the next day.
When I was kid I thought the year numbers would roll over eventually i.e after a certain year it would start over from 0 or 1. I found out the truth when it was shortly after new years day (I think it was 1991) and I asked the teacher if it would ever be 1990 again and she said no. For some reason this really bothered me at the time..
When I was little I used to believe that at plays, if the main character started out as a child in the first act, they were given a pill or medicine that made them grow into an adult for the second act. It never occurred to me that it was two different people.
I used to believe that if a item wasn't "on sale" then you weren't aloud to buy it.
After my mom told my sister and I it was time for bed, we begged to stay up a little longer. She told us we could stay up for five more minutes, and I was shocked when it was over so fast. I said "that was so short, it's like five minutes is less than one minute!" My mom sort of nodded and dismissed it, so for the next few years I believed some sort of time anomaly cause five minutes to actually be shorter than one minute.