Numbers do not always work in my head. I have trouble putting them in the correct order and something I write 3's and 5's backwards and switch up my 6's and 9's. When it came to tell someone the time I would panic, quickly searching the room for a digital clock or even someone with a digital watch. Because I difficult for me to tell time I really didn't have an understanding of time nor how to manage my time. My dad would say, we're leaving in 15min, I would keep playing with my dolls, thinking that I had plenty of time to eat breakfast, shower, bush my teeth, get dressed, and finish playing with my dolls. Needless to day I was late or always rushing out the door until I was in high school.  If it wasn't for my parents nagging me every 5-10 min I wouldn't have gotten anywhere on time.

I learned to always be ready, if that meant I needed to get ready an hour before we left to go somewhere I would. I challenged myself to read an analog clock as often as I saw one. One day is just hit me, the time (minutes) is that number multiplied by 5. So if the little hand is pointing to between 5 and 6 it's, the hour is 5, and if the big hand is pointing to 8, I know that 8x5=40, so the time is 5:40. This felt revolutionary to me!
Soon after I taught myself this little trick I also started to see the clock as a visual icon instead of just numbers on a circle. The clock could be divided into 4 equal parts: 0:00, 0:15, 0:30, and 0:45. I memorized that if the big hand was pointing to 12 it would be the start of the next hour, if the big hand was pointing to 3 if was 15min, 6 was 30min, and 9 was 45min. So now, if I couldn't multiple fast enough in my head I could estimate what time it was because I knew the 4 basic times.

As and adult I have a smartphone, a digital clock by my bed, the microwave has the time, and the tv even has the time. I still tend to look for a digital clock if I need to know the time, I set myself alarms if I have meetings or other events to go to. But when there is no digital clock to be found I still use the tricks I taught myself to tell time.



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