Library notes: Take time with time

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 6, 2009

By Rebecca Hyde
Rowan Public Library
How do you perceive time? Most of us feel we have too little time to accomplish everything we want to do. On the other hand, we live longer and have access to high-speed technology. What is the problem?
Bodil Jonsson, a Swedish physicist, has examined for years our problem with time and offers in the little book “Unwinding the Clock” her thoughts on time management.
Most important is the understanding of our relationship to time, and Jonsson offers 10 thoughts on the subject in 10 short chapters. She opens with the commonly held attitudes of “we don’t have enough time” and “time is money.”
Jonsson argues that time is the only thing you really have, and that it is capital easily transformed into interactions with other people, with your surroundings, or into the development of thoughts and feelings. We think we can buy time with one gadget after another. But Jonsson asks: So what are you going to do with that time? And you can’t keep buying time, since the pace is faster and faster.
Time management for Jonsson is essentially taking “time out” to become conscious of our relationship to time and then setting different priorities. It is a personal matter “impossible to take in unless you work through it deep inside yourself, at your very core,” and then return to it throughout your life.
Other provocative chapters include Clock Time and Experienced Time, Divided and Undivided Time, Rhythm and Nonrhythm. That last chapter may help explain our frustrations with traffic rhythms, the nonrhythms of meetings and with people whose conversational and thought rhythms do not agree with ours.
Psychologists Zimbardo and Boyd offer their perspective on our “most irreplaceable resource” in “The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life.”
Our attitudes toward time have a profound impact on our lives and our world, and yet we seldom recognize this. For example, an individual’s relationship to time can influence important behaviors such as helping a stranger in distress.
Future-oriented people are most likely to be successful and the least likely to help others in need. Present-oriented people tend to be willing to help others but appear less willing or able to help themselves. Those people whose perspective is the past make decisions bound by positive and negative memories.
Ideally, you want to develop a balanced time perspective in place of a narrowly focused single time zone. Optimal decisions are made when you can flexibly shift from past to present to future in response to the demands of the situation. So spend your time wisely and enjoy it well.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Absolute Beginners Yahoo e-mail; Nov. 12, 2:30 p.m., Absolute Beginners Internet Searching; Nov. 16, 7 p.m., Business Resources on the Web; Nov. 19, 2:30 p.m., Introduction to Heritage Quest; Nov. 23, 7 p.m., Absolute Beginners Computer Class.
South ó Nov. 16, 7 p.m., Google Class.
East ó Nov. 24, 1 p.m., Google Class.
Myths and Mysteries: Thursday, 7 p.m., Stanback Auditorium. Susan Waller, storyteller, will tell about mysterious tales and weird happenings in Rowan County. Come and share stories. Please enter using the Fisher Street door closest to Church Street.
Children’s storytime: Through Nov. 19, weekly story time. for more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Tiny Tots (infants-23 months), Wednesdays, 11 a.m.; Toddler Time (2 years), Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time (3-5-year-olds), Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead (4-8 years), Thursdays, 4 p.m.
South ó Preschool Time, Mondays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead, Mondays, 4 p.m.; Toddler Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.
East ó Toddler Time, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 11 a.m.
Book chats for children: Nov. 19, 4:15 p.m., “No Talking,” by Andrew Clements, grades four and five. Part of Book Chats, a new program at South Regional library only. For children in grades two-five. Registration required. Call 704-216-7728.
Teen program: Game night at the library. Play videogames on the big screen or favorite board games, 5:30-7 p.m. at all locations. For information, call 704-216-8234. South, Friday; East, Nov. 19; Headquarters, Nov. 30.
Tuesday Night at the Movies: All movies are at 6:30 p.m. All movies are rated G, PG or PG 13. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
Disney favorites. Tuesday, “Wall-E”; Nov. 17, “Sword in the Stone”; Nov. 24, “Robin Hood.”
Displays: Headquarters ó art by Art Gang; dolls and books by Rowan Doll Society; South ó handmade baskets by Shirley Bacom. East ó Friends Basket display.
November hours: Wednesday, all branches closed for Veterans Day; Nov. 26-27, all branches closed for Thanksgiving.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.