What is McNamara Time? (comic)
Story by Zoe Travers '10, Staff Writer and Jackie Corley '10, News Editor
with a comic by Melanie Ngami '11
It's 2:56 p.m, and this religion lecture is getting pretty old after hearing it for the past 87 minutes. WHAT IS TAKING THE BELL SO LONG? "What I've noticed is that the bells aren't the same all the time. They get later and later and it's strange," said history teacher Geoffrey Molchan. This is what we call McNamara Time.
Basically, the bells that control life in the school are three or four minutes behind the real world's time. So don't even bother wearing a watch set like a satellite because you never will know when the bell is going to ring... nobody does. McNamara time changes are a day to day thing -- one day the bell will ring three minutes early, and then the next day it feels like you're stuck in class for an extra five minutes.
Students are not the only ones taking notice of the time changes. According to Mr. Molchan, "It's a big problems for teachers too. It even happened today! I would think I have more time to teach but then I don't. So yeah, it's a problem."
On the other hand, some teachers like the delay of bells, like chemistry teacher Saiedeh Khalili. "I love it because it gives me a chance to teach molarity and stoichiometry and other goody goody things in chemistry."
So, what's the scoop on why the bells aren't consistent? Vice Principal Victor Shin informed us that "The bells have always been like that. It's cool. The dismissal is officially 2:58, NOT 2:56 because this way the students get more time in between classes. The bells are on a timer. The mass days and other days when we come in late are on pre-set timers."
But if the clocks are on timers, why do they still ring at 3:00pm? The answer was discovered one afternoon in an interview with principal Marco Clark about this crime of the chime. He said, "It's all apart of a master system for the clocks in the hallway and in the classroom. The master clock controls all clocks and then all the bells that ring. But when we did construction, the main wire was cut, and it burnt the motor out which is why the clocks are all set on different times. Also, when we changed the schedule for mass days and delays, it stops the clock for a few seconds. So today [2/25/09] for example, when we programmed the bells, the clocks stopped. Eventually, it all adds up." "Adds up" meaning at the end of the day to the newly changed dismissal time.
So next time you're in class listening to your teacher talk forever, hoping they don't assign homework, looking at the clock, and wishing the bell would ring because it's late, don't feel bad because nobody knows what time it is. Don't fret when the bell does not ring, even though your watch correctly says it is time for class to end. Just be proud you go to a school with its own way of telling time!
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