January 14 Day 312: Metlakatla?

It was 6 am and the alarm on my cell phone was telling me to get up. I turned it off and began thinking through the universal question, “What’s on my list for the day?” There was the possibility of a collaboration session but I hadn’t confirmed it beforehand. And it would be at 8 am. I decided that I should probably get up and be ready, just in case my collaborator was thinking the same thing.

Then I promptly fell back asleep.

The next time I woke up, my phone read 7:25 am. There was no need for panic as I could still be ready by 8 am, thirty-five minutes should be plenty of time. Then it hit me. It was already light outside. Sunrise was supposed to be at 7:51 am. So it couldn’t be only 7:25 am. What went wrong?

My iPhone and iWatch were both displaying the same time. I immediately searched for the correct time. It was 8:30 am not 7:31 am as my phone told me (image on left). Then I opened Settings > General > Date and Time. And I saw the image on the right:

Why would my phone think I was in Metlakatla? Where is Metlakatla? Well Google was my friend. Metlakatla is on Annette Island about 16 miles south of Ketchikan in Alaska. And it’s not in the same time zone.

My short term solution was to toggle the Set Automatically button to off. Then my phone reverts to Cupertino time. Since I am not travelling anytime soon, this is a reasonable solution. My husband had similar problems a while back but his phone seems to have resolved itself. I checked. I have the most up-to-date operating system (iOS 14.3 released mid-December).

Anybody else out there having similar problems?

My collaborator checked in and was kind. We are confirmed meeting next week at 8 am.

I am working my way up to getting a new phone. While I am mostly staying at home, it isn’t a priority. By the time we are travelling again, who knows what improvements will be made in the newest iphone model? So I am not in a rush.

Cover image from is a screenshot of https://dot.alaska.gov/amhs/comm/metlakatla.shtml

Published by Jenny Quinn

Mathematician. Mother. Wife. Leader. I am a professor of mathematics at the University of Washington Tacoma. Mother of Anson and Zachary. Wife to Mark. President of the Mathematical Association of America.

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