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Living and Learning With Mary

Mary Sullivan

My name is Mary. I'll be traveling to Argentina in order to live with a family and go to school there. I am using this blog as well as my Tumblr to chronicle my experiences during my year abroad.

My Ultimate Frenemy: the Metric System

I am proud to be a freedom loving American. Since the beginning of the exchange, I have found myself proudly shouting “USA!” and high-fiving my other American friend every time the United States is brought up in conversation. I realize that it is incredibly annoying, but (if you have a problem then shut your mouth you freedom hater) I promise I am working on it. However, I will never forgive the all power United States of America for refusing to assimilate into the Metric System.

Like every American student, I was taught the metric conversions both in math and science class. We were given formulas neatly typed on a worksheet, which unfortunately I always managed to misplace (in the trash can). However, it took an exchange in Argentina for me to see the error of my ways.

Every single day I yearn for that formula sheet. How can I properly complain about the ungodly heat? I already have to translate my thoughts into another language; I simply do not have the mental capacity to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit. How will I be able to enter the never ending pit of shame when I polish off a fourth of a kilogram of ice cream by myself when I have no concept of units of measurement? Now that I think about it that might actually be for the better.

Most of my battles with the metric system arise when I cook. I have prepared a few popular American dishes (mostly desserts) for my host family and friends and for every receipt I spend at least 30 minutes converting the units. This process is extremely frustrating and most often results in a heated and mostly one-sided discussion between my computer and me.

My one request is for the United States to swallow its pride and join the Metric System. Stop acting like an overly self-involved hipster and go mainstream.

I hope that you all have a wonderful and relaxing holiday vacation and I will hopefully be back before the New Year.


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5 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. Haha loved the title of this post! Very entertaining (and funny!) read. I’ve always wondered when/if we will convert too. When I visited my friend in Germany, I kept getting confused about how fast we were going!

  2. Agreed agreed agreed! It was wqually frustrating for me studying abroad.

  3. Tell me about it! I think before going on exchange all Americans should be given classes on the metric system…it’s that important! ha.

  4. Agreed! I love the metric system since it’s based on powers of 10.

  5. It’s still funny that (literally) 95% of the world uses the metric system and the US (perhaps the most influential country) does not. That’s one thing historians will look back on with utter confusion!

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