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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.
I used to believe that if i walk around a corner or went through a door i was actually going into another dimension, so i had to go back around that corner or back through that door or else i would be stuck in that dimension that was strikingly similar to ours.
My father used to always tell me that he could tell time by looking at trees. Not from looking at their shadows or the position of the sun, just from looking at the trees. Often he'd make a guess that was near enough for me to believe him. I distinctly remember the day he told me that it was all a joke I felt like a part of my world had come crashing down ontop of me...I was sure that my dad had some secret magical power.