How to Keep a Calendar in Your Head
Text and Photos, Copyright ©2002 by Carolyne Butler
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- What if? This is the first week in the month and you need to know what day of the week the 25th falls on. Without looking at a calendar, how would you know?
- What if? You need to know what day of the week the 1st day of the next month falls on. Without looking at a calendar, how would you know?
- What if? You know a certain event is always scheduled the third Thursday in a month that is three months away from the current month. How would you figure what date that Thursday will be without looking at a calendar?
It's easy. Just keep a calendar in your head.
There are two simple things to remember. The first will give you the current month's calendar, the second will give you the following (or preceding) month's calendar.
LEARN THE CURRENT MONTH
Remember the "sevens"
The "sevens" are always the numbers 7, 14, 21, 28 (multiples of 7). Look at the calendar for this current month and mentally "red-letter," or note in some way, whatever day of the week the sevens fall on. That day is all you need to remember in order to keep the current month's calendar in your head.
Example: To see how it's done, look at the following example calendar. In this particular month, the "sevens" come on Wednesday.
S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31
How to use: In this example month with the sevens coming on Wednesday, what day of the week does the 25th of the month fall on? Without looking, you can mentally count the days forward from Wednesday the 21st (or backward from Wednesday the 28th) and know that the 25th will fall on a Sunday.
How to use: Still using the above example month with the sevens coming on Wednesday, say that this is Monday the 5th, and you want to know what the date is for Saturday of the next week? You already know that Wednesday this week will be the 7th, and the next Wednesday will be the 14th. Therefore, counting forward from Wednesday the 14th, you determine that Saturday will be the 17th.
A sometimes helpful hint: The first day of any month always falls on the day following whichever day the sevens fall on for that same month. In the above example, the sevens come on Wednesdays, therefore the first day of that same month comes on Thursday.
But what if you want to know what day the first of the next month comes on? Keep reading.
LEARN THE FOLLOWING MONTH
"Thirty days hath September . . ."
What if you need a day or a date for the next month, or even several months ahead, or perhaps last month? You need to determine how many total days are in each month.
Some people may automatically remember how many days are in each month. Others may need to count their knuckles or repeat one of the many versions of the Mother Goose rhyme to get there.
Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November; All the rest have thirty-one, Excepting February alone, Which has but twenty-eight days clear, And twenty-nine in each leap year.
Once you know the number of days in each month, it's simple to figure when the sevens come for the next month. There are two methods to do this. Use whichever method works for you. Personally, I find method 2 the easiest to use when counting forward, but method 1 may have to be used in reverse if you need to count back one month.
To count forward from the sevens in the current month to the sevens for the next month, remember this formula:
Days in this month Days to count forward
28 0 29 1 30 2 31 3
Once you know how many days are in the current month, you can then count forward from the 28th to find what day the last day of the month falls on. Voilà! Whatever that day is will be the same day that the sevens will come on for the next month.
Example: In the above example calendar with 31 days and with the sevens coming on Wednesday, the last day of the month is Saturday, therefore the sevens for the next month will come on Saturday. (If the example month had been a 30-day month, the sevens for the next month would come on Friday.)
This page is in remembrance of my mother, Marguerite Nelson Kemp, who taught me the "sevens."
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