Backwards Days

“Dates are important in history because what is done on those dates is of importance.”

― Amit Abraham

I remember when, in my early school days learning history, we not only had to learn what had happened in the past, but also the date of the event. And while I had no problem remembering events – even their most arcane details – remembering dates was my nemesis, they never found a place in my long-term memory for some inexplicable reason. So imagine how giddy I was entering my high school where I learned that memorizing dates in history class (or other such things as tables in chemistry or math) wasn’t deemed necessary, just remember the event and its importance. The theory was that if such information was really needed, it could be looked up in a book, the rationale being that even doctors, for example, don’t remember every little thing they learned in med school, all they need to remember is what reference book to use to read and recall what they need to know. This is supported by research that demonstrates that students forget much – as much as 80% of what they were taught by day 2 if they haven’t needed to think about it in the meantime (even less a week after – usually when a test is given) and remembering only 2-3% after a month. So forget about remembering more than that a year or two after leaving school! My high school was very progressive that way.

Imagine my distress upon entering university only to find they expected one to have memorized dates, tables and such, in high school. I remember explaining why I hadn’t needed to, to one professor and I remember his response, “You’ve a lot of catching up to do if you expect to pass this class!” He was right, and I didn’t pass.

But, as they say, that is history.

Which leads me to an event and its date. Did you know today’s date is 7.10.2017 and why that’s of interest? Look at the numbers closely and you’ll see they are the same right to left, as they are left to right.

Today is a backwards day. We won’t have another backwards day until 8.10.2018.

Which may account for why I’m remembering back to my original troubles with dates.

“Wait!” you say, “Today’s not the 10th, it’s the 12th!”

Well, it was the 10th when I originally wrote this. Then I immediately forgot and didn’t post it!

I told you I have a problem with dates.

– Bill


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