Metric Imperialism

Metric Imperialism

I am a born and bred Canadian, raised by a proud Scotsman who is passionately in love with both his homelands – the one of his birth, and the one of his choosing.

So it only seems natural that I spell like a Brit (‘Honour thy neighbour.’), make a good cup o’ tea, judge the warmth of a day in Celsius, and measure my runs in kilometers.

I find it most amusing then, that I still judge my height in feet, estimate small measurements in inches and cook in cups and ounces. This dichotomy represents something deep in the Canadian culture, which I have neither the time, nor the inclination to discover.

What sparked this whole insight, though, was the recipe I posted yesterday. I have listed:
2 – 540ml cans of black beans, rinsed
1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes

Now packaging in Canada, because it often comes from down south, generally lists both measurements. Why I chose metric for one and imperial for the other, I cannot fathom.

I worry about this, you see, because honestly, I’m functionally illiterate in both. I mix and match the systems randomly and don’t understand whole sections of either. For sewing, I measure in inches and meters. I use ounces fairly regularly, but have no idea about pints or quarts. I know a fever is 100F, but don’t know if 68F is warm or cool. I know that 25C is a pleasantly warm day, but is 39C a fever?

Perhaps things will clear up when it comes time to teach these things to my children. I love homeschooling. I love that every day I get to relive my education, to fill in the holes, to study things I never even dreamed of. I love that by the time I’m done, I’ll be some well rounded intellectual that six years of university couldn’t make me.

I’m so thankful for this wonderful opportunity. I am thankful for a daily adventure that allows me to learn and study; thankful for the time to share with my children all about why one is measured in ounces and one in milliliters.

So here’s to the mixing of the old and new, the British and the American, the best of both worlds, and the opportunity to share it all with my precious blessings!


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