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2001...The Turn Of The Century? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Being a student set to graduate in the Class of 2000 is an incredible coincidence because not only does it take place at the turn of the century but also the turn of a new millennium. I am proud because few graduating classes can say that they graduate at the start of a new century and even fewer can say they were part of the class of a new millennium.

I recently read about the controversy over a statement a scientist at the U.S. Naval Observatory (in Washington, D.C.) had released. The Observatory is a government establishment in charge of keeping track of time in all time zones around the world. Scientists observe the most accurate "clock" on earth, the atomic clock, which is basically a large machine programmed to the exact time in Greenwich, England. They have come to the conclusion that the 21st Century does not officially begin until midnight on December 31, 2000, instead of December 31, 1999 as most think. This conclusion is based on the ideas of the monk, Dennis the Short, who began keeping record of time by starting time at the year one. According to him, time (as we know it) began on January 1, 0001. But we keep track of our lives with our lives starting at year zero. At the end of our first year of living, we are one year old. If a baby was born yesterday, today the baby would be one day old. Tomorrow, the baby would be two days old, and so on. At the end of the baby's first year of life, it would be one year old. By following Dennis the Short's ideas the baby would be born one year old. On its first birthday it would be two and so on. This makes no sense and is illogical. In my opinion, the turn of the 20th Century into the 21st Century takes place at midnight of December 31, 1999.

I have no explanation why Dennis the Short said what he did. Did something come before the year one? The year zero, of course! Regardless of what anyone tells me, I will always think of the beginning of time as zero and the beginning of the 21st century as 2000. Whether of not the Class of 2000 goes down in the record books as the first graduating glass of the 21st century I'll still be proud to be part of it. u


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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