31 December 2007

It's All Relative

The end of another calendar year in the western world seems to bring with it much introspection, reflection, relief, and forms of navel-gazing. I know that teachers are certainly not immune to this, but our calendars are also a bit different. The beginning of a school year is the time for resolutions and the chance to start over with many things. January 1st? Not so much. The last day of school calls for the sound of popping champagne corks and rounds of Auld Lang Syne as everyone departs for summer adventures. December 31st just doesn't feel as appropriate for this in some ways...although it's unlikely I'd turn down the chance to have a nice glass of champagne just the same.

Time is such an elastic concept. I can think of points in my life where it seemed to drag...and others where it raced by all too fast. I've recently watched a couple of "The Universe" programs on The History Channel and found out that time is even more bendable than Einstein's ideas about time dilation. Clocks in space tick more slowly than they do on Earth. Maybe the universe isn't expanding at the rate we think it is---our perceptions may be "slower" because of the gravitational field we live in. And so on. It's the kind of stuff which keeps one's frontal lobes on their toes. The scale of time and space is a lot to even try to comprehend---especially because of the relative nature of things.

Whether you were the watcher or the doer in various situations in 2007, I hope your time was meaningful to you. If January 1 is when you press your own reset button in terms of wishes and plans for the next span of time, then I wish you well as you progress toward those achievements. (Have a wish of your own for 2008? Go here and have it printed on a piece of confetti for release in NY's Times Square.) The upcoming year will no doubt have many happy/sad endings and new beginnings for each of us. I'll see you on the other side of midnight. Have a wonderful new year!


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Toes on frontal lobes? Now that's creepy!

Happy 2008!

The Science Goddess said...

LOL I do like me some imagery.

(For any readers wondering what the banter is about---go see CTG's post with what is, IMHO, a rather lecherous looking Father Time. Run away!)

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Happy New Year, SG!

When I was a kid, my favorite book was, "One, Two, Three, Infinity" by George Gamow.

Between those covers I learned about Einstein's theories, Moebius strips, and that bottle thing (the name eludes me now -- you know, physical paradoxes). Loved it.

Time is my favorite subject when it comes to SF, and you're right, we all have different perspectives, calendars, and buttons.

A very fun post. :)


The Science Goddess said...

Best wishes for 2008 for you, too!