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What time is it?
The Campanile. Where is it?
What time is it? That's the eternal question. And it can be a problem when you're traveling, changing time zones or simply trying to get to class on time or see how many minutes you have left to finish an exam. In the past the bells rang from church towers, clock towers, campanile towers. They kept the population on schedule. A quick glance and you knew the time.The bells rang and you knew it was time to get up or go to bed. Walking across campus? You could continue your leisurely pace, greeting friends and acquaintances along the way. The clock struck 10:00. You had to get moving because you were already late. The tower clock and/or bells were enough.
We wore watches and and had clocks in practically every room. They were useful. They're quickly becoming obsolete. The cell phone rules! "What time is it?" I ask the students and they ALL whip out their cell phones. No more clocks on the wall in the classrooms, or public buildings or airport terminals for that matter. "When is this interminable class going to be over?" "Am I late for my meeting?" "How long before I need to be at the departure gate?".... I DON'T KNOW until I get out my cell phone!
And what happens during an exam? We don't let students use their cell phones, naturally. They don't wear watches any more. There's no clock on the wall. There are no bells. That also means that they don't know what time it is or how fast the minutes are ticking by. Maybe we should have a "campanile" right in the middle of campus: a clock tower, bells, music at lunch time.....Hmmm. Just a thought.
** If you know where this "clock tower" is, send in a comment with your name and email. I have a prize for you. Elena Gómez knows where it is. She was there a few years ago.
kept: keep mantener,
glance: un vistazo
rang: ring tocar una campana/timbre
leisurely pace: paso tranquilo/despacio
struck: strike tocar la campana
wore: wear llevar puesto
rules: manda, domina
whip out: sacar rápidamente
ticking by: pasando, tic-tic-tic
bells: campanas, timbres