26 Feb 2008

Trouble with Time Zones?

Students of the Astrological Psychology Association working on the beginner's Foundation Module learn about the different time zones across the world. Some of them "get it" right away, others initially find it confusing, feeling as muddled as the presenter sounds in the spoof shown above. This was a birthday card one of my students sent me many years ago (probably because she was feeling a bit like that over the time zones question in her assignment!).

I grew up not far from the Greenwich meridian in London.
When I first started to learn astrology I had to orient myself to the different time zones around the world when I discovered that a correction for the local time of birth had to be made to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). And I remember that at first it wasn't easy. I was obviously one of those students who didn't "get it" right away!

I fondly recall from childhood a radio requests programme called "Two-way Family Favourites" (yes, we lived exciting lives in the 50's!) which always started with the presenter saying:

The time in Britain is twelve noon, in Germany it's one o'clock, but home and away it's time for "Two-Way Family Favourites"

At the time, though, I couldn't understand how it could possibly be 1 o'clock in Germany when it was only 12 noon in London and I'd not had my lunch! Was the clock wrong in the BBC studio?

Now that I have family living in Texas, I'm far more aware of time zones on a daily basis. I have to remember to count back 6 hours from the time here in the UK when I want to call them, otherwise I'll wake them up. My 11 a.m. is their 5 a.m. For my student in Arizona it will be 4 a.m, and for another of my students in Taiwan, it will be 7 p.m and they will probably be sitting down to dinner.

Our change in time here in the UK is fast approaching. The Vernal Equinox on 21st March will be followed by the start of European Summer Time on 30th March when the clocks go forward one hour and we lose an hour of sleep. Of course, other time zones in different countries around the world will also be changing. M
ost diaries now carry a time zone map, you can buy clocks with different time zones marked, and the American and International Atlases of World Latitudes, Longitudes and Time Changes are the astrologer's bibles.

If all else fails, you could always mutter the mantra shown on that spoof card.........!


barbara said...

Hi Joyce,
I agree that time zones can be a headache !
You are right to note that when one has a practical reason to learn something, then one does it... learning the time difference between the UK and Houston.
I remember the _ and + sides pretty well... it's how many hours - or + that I always need to check.

By the way, honors bestowed to you on my blog... a first for your personal blog !

Take care :)

Joyce Hopewell said...

Hi Barbara,

Thank you so much for the awards, for this one and the personal blog - I'm honoured indeed :-))

And you, my dear friend, fully deserve the awards and accolades you receive from other bloggers, so congratulations to you too!

Joyce x