Archives of Our Lives

{a narrow and broad look into the lives of people I love}

Friday, February 29, 2008

If We’re Going to Go Around Adding Days Like This…

Only in a lovely, divisible-by-four year like 2008 could such a good thing as Leap Year occur. Hey Big Sister, is "Leap Year" a proper noun? (She’s good for stuff like that.)

When I was in grade school and my teachers were trying to communicate the theory of the Leap Year [I say “they were trying to teach me” rather than “I was trying to learn,” because, well…that’s how it was], I remember being so angry about it:

“So, what you’re trying to tell me is that all of the months—of which there are twelve—either have 30 or 31 days, except February, which has not 29, but 28 days in it. Am I right? But then, every four years—not every other year, which seems more logical—we add another day to the calendar. To February. So one out of four years, February has 29 days instead of only 28? Well, why don’t we add another day to February that year, if we’re gonna go around adding days like this—that way February can have a nice round, matching number like the rest of the months? What? Why? Because that would screw up the old ‘Thirty days hath September’ adage? Oh. That makes sense…I guess.”

It was all very frustrating for pre-adolescent me. A bit too abstract for me to grasp.

Now that I’m older, though, everything has changed. Yes. It’s true. Not because I am better at abstract thinking—actually, I rather hate thinking outside the box [it seems very dangerous to me]. I do like Leap Years though. First of all, it’s because I grew up and realised how fantastic even years are. Something exciting is always seeming to happen on these years—like presidential elections and summer Olympics (anyone know if Ian Thorpe is coming back for another go? I’m a big fan). And secondly, because a childhood friend of mine was born on a Leap Year. Looking back, it was pretty cool to know such a uniquely-birthed individual. It was always so fun to tease her that she was only four years old when [giggle] actually she was [giggle] sixteen! Then she grew up, got married and had a kid…

...on a Leap Year.

It’s amazing, I know. According to my mom, the odds of that happening are 1 (one) in 800,000 (eight hundred thousand). And she swears that’s close to a real statistic—she’s not just making it up like I accused.

So happy birthday Rachel New-Married-Name and your kid. And happy Leap Year to anyone whose claim to fame isn't being younger than you really are. To celebrate the occasion, Kyle and I are taking a 24-hour drive down to home. Home for me, anyway.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Ian has retired and will not be swimming in Beijing. I am so disappointed!

February 29, 2008 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Mikelle said...

Have fun in AZ!Enjoy the nice weather while you can. And say hi to Preston for me! (oh yeah, and Adell and Clint too)

February 29, 2008 at 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Mikelle. I feel the love! :) Millie, I haven't looked it up yet, but I'd say that NO, leap year is not a proper noun. I'll go look it up and get back to you...

February 29, 2008 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here is the definition of a common noun: "a noun that may be preceded by an article or other limiting modifier and that denotes any or all of a class of entities and not an individual, as man, city, horse, music. Also called com'mon name'. Cf. proper noun." (Source: In this instance, the word leap serves as an adjective that modifies the common noun year. Also, it can be preceded by an article (e.g.: This is a leap year, "a" being the article.) Hence, leap year is NOT a proper noun and SHOULD NOT BE CAPITALIZED.

February 29, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is your blog and if you want to CAPITALIZE "Leap Year" go for it....

e.e. cummings

February 29, 2008 at 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's amazing how she had a kid on leap year too! I feel priviledged to kind of know a person who knows a person who was born so uniquely! Anyways, isn't it amazing how ppl could actually figure out that there is an extra day every four years. i don't know, it kind of boggles my mind... for that reason, i'm not so into the leap year thing

February 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

It's crazy how things work out like that. I have a friend who's a twin and her sister and her had their babies on the same day. I thought that was crazy, I think your friend may have a better case.
Have fun in Az.

March 1, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

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