Monday, May 9, 2011

Learning Experience

I had some surgery last week so I've been taking my temperature every day to make sure I don't have an fever, which might indicate infection. Besides, I like taking my temperature; it makes me feel better. Today, while turning on the digital thermometer, I must somehow have changed it from Fahrenheit to Centigrade, because the number that showed up was 36.5. I do tend to a low body temperature, but that seemed extreme. Fortunately, another resident of the house--the dishwasher-- is also not feeling well. Since I am home on a medical leave, I took the opportunity to call the repairman, and he showed up just after the temperature-taking incident. When he spoke, I detected a European accent. "Do you know the Centigrade temperature scale?" I asked him. He said he did. "Do you know what the number 36.5 equals in Fahrenheit?", I inquired. "Is this about body temperature?", he asked, "Because 36.6 in Centigrade is normal". Reassured, I said, "Okay, then, that's all I need to know". "No, I'll show you how to do it", he said, whipping out a pocket calculator. "You multiply by 1.8 and add 32. Look, your temperature was 97.7. If you want to do it the other way, you subtract 32 and divide by 1.8".

What a gift. The dishwasher will get fixed when the new part arrives, I got reassurance that my temperature was normal and I learned something new. I even later figured out what I had done to change the thermometer, but I didn't bother changing it back to Fahrenheit. I can figure it out myself now.

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