Sunday, April 02, 2006

Hoosiers greet historic time change.

Indiana East Time officially bit the dust today as the state that bills itself as the "Crossroads of America" joined its neighbors in observing Daylight Savings Time. Today's South Bend Tribune carries an AP story reporting on Hoosiers' diverse reactions to the time zone change. The Indianapolis Star has an interesting article discussing the impact the change will have on people of faith. Catholics face not only the challenge of getting up a little earlier for Sunday Mass today but also face a later Easter Vigil. Observant Jews will have to wait longer for the end of the Sabbath. Muslims seeking to fit Friday prayer services into their work schedules also face new difficulties. Anticipating the difficulties that many Hoosiers will have in adjusting to DST, the Star has another article (given the awful title "It's time to change hour ways") with tips on how to deal with disruption in sleep patterns and new time management issues. As one who grew up with DST, I find it a little hard to believe that people would be as thrown off by it as the Star would have us believe. Then again and even though I've lived in Indiana, I can't speak to the experience of people who've never known anything but Indiana East Time.

In previous posts, I've offered extensive commentary on the Indiana time zone debate. I bemoaned the looming demise of IET, discussed the national press coverage given to the controversy and noted the local impact of the debate on South Bend. I'm not going to repeat anything I've already written on the topic, but I will add an anecdote. When I was in South Bend last weekend, I had occasion to hear one pastor's unscripted comments on the looming time zone change at the close of the Sunday liturgy. The priest reminded his parishioners that they would have to turn back their clocks the coming Saturday if they didn't want to miss the bulk of the liturgy. He acknowledged that this might be hard to remember since many in the congregation hadn't had to deal with Daylight Savings in a long time, and he admitted his own weakness in the face of the change - given that he'd be preaching on one less hour's sleep, he warned, next week's homily might not be up to snuff. Whether this worst-case scenario played out, I can't say. However, in the long term I'm sure priest and people will be just fine. AMDG.


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