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30 September 2009 @ 01:15 pm
Why Can't I Do Math Today?!  
I'm trying to get Sam and Dean's ages right for a flashback and I cannot for the life of me get them to match, LOL. It's ridiculous. I am making some real simple error. I know it. If I do Dean separate, I get the right age and if I do Sam separate, I get the right age, but when I put them together, I'm off by a year *scratches head* They have at least 4 years between them, right? I'm not going insane? Why aren't you working, numbers! I need to know what year to set the flashbacks!

Because as of right now, numbers, you are telling me that Sam either waited a year to go to college/did the five year plan (um no) or that Dean has an extra year in there somewhere (more plausible) but the numbers still don't make sense because we have canon ages and birthdates.

Why am I being so OCD? Brain you fail me today.

*tries again*

ETA: Okay, cause I'm crazy. *waves list* I did out all the years and their ages have never been goofed on the show. It's that their ages DON'T MATCH traditional schooling years in the US. That means they have an extra year in there.
Current Mood: confusedconfused
Hell's Half Acre: Huhhells_half_acre on September 30th, 2009 05:45 pm (UTC)
Well, there is 4 years different, but they weren't born on the same day...so, for a couple of months of the year there is 5 years difference. Also, Sam was 18 when he went to school...I don't know how that fits in with 5 year plans or Dean doing an extra year..but, umm...yeah. Sam went to school in Fall 2002.
Working for the Mandroid: Dean Flashlightmoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine Sam being in college for 5 years. Of course, I am not sure how pre-law is like. If he had massive classes to take, he might have been in school longer than normal. Sometimes pre-med students end up extending it to get all their requirements in.

Hell's Half Acre: Huhhells_half_acre on September 30th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
He definitely wasn't in school for 5 years...ok, I guess I did MY math wrong. He was born in '83, which would make him 19 in 2002, when he went to Stanford.

I guess he took a year off school between High School and college...maybe it took him that long to hunt down all his transcripts so that he could apply for that full-ride :-P
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
LOL, my bad math is infecting everyone today.

And actually, that's a very good point. Poor kid would have had massive transcripts. Eep.
Jilldawnfirenight on September 30th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
Dean was born January 24, 1979, and Sam was born May 2, 1983. So yes, there are four years and a few months between them, so depending on the month and year you set your flashback, the ages might be either 4 or 5 years apart.

Since Sam was entering his fourth year of undergrad at Stanford in '05, at the age of 22, he would have started at Stanford in fall '02 at the age of 19. Presumably he did wait a year to enter, or he started grade school a year late.

Now I'm trying to remember After-School Special...I think we find out Dean's a senior in those flashbacks, and because it's...what, November 1997, then he would have been almost nineteen, which is a bit old for senior year. So I would guess he either repeated a grade or started a year late.

I have no idea if this is at all helpful.
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
I just finished doing the math on this because I am pathetic and it took me forever to do this, LOL. I was getting hung up because their ages don't quite match the norm when it comes to schooling.

You're right. Both Sam and Dean have an extra year in there. There are plenty of ways to explain that in canon. It's because it's canon that Sam is so smart and did well in school no matter where they went that throws me. Seems like to me he would have went straight from high school to college and not take a year off, especially if he was trying to avoid hunting, but at the same time I can't see him in college for 5 years because he would have been normal to better than average with his work load.

I can see Dean being so out of touch with school that he was in it longer and then finally just dropped out.
MegTDJ: SPN - Sam suitmeg_tdj on September 30th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
Maybe Sam had to work his way through school and therefore it took longer? How much do scholarships really cover? He made it pretty clear in various episodes that he left home at 18, the second he legally could, and that he then had to fend completely for himself. And since in season 1 he had a problem with the whole "earn a living through poker and pool and credit card scams" thing, I would imagine he got an honest job.
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
If Sam was super smart, he could have earned pretty much a full ride. Most of my friends were in the Honors Society with me and they got tons of scholarships.

(Me? I am weird. I had A's and B's and got nothing. But you can even get scholarships for having a parent in the service like Nam vet or special circumstances, etc.)

I might just go with your suggestion in the other post. And make the caption reflect the class of year. Because unless the school was full of complete idiots, they wouldn't be waving around class of 97 banners everywhere for the previous year's class ;)

All of this JUST to start the Bobby fic because it's on my mind today. More trouble than it's worth!
MegTDJ: SPN - Bobby idjitsmeg_tdj on September 30th, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
YAY BOBBY FIC!!!!!!!! *dances* :D

So yeah, I guess Sam would just need to work to eat, basically, right? Nothing worthy of taking an extra year. So yeah, Class of '97. Works for me. :)
Working for the Mandroid: crossroadsmoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
LOL, if I bump it back to Class of '97, that gives me two extra years to work with. Oops.

back to the drawing board for me. Thanks though!
MegTDJ: SPN - Ruby KC thinkingmeg_tdj on September 30th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
It does? Um... wow. Obviously my math skills are gone today, too. ;)

I think what we can basically glean from this is that the Supernatural PTB have no math skills either. Go with whatever you want. ;)
Jilldawnfirenight on September 30th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
My guess was always something like Sam just got enrolled in school late - like, he was six and in kindergarten - because John was not quite in touch with parenting and might have forgotten that his youngest son was of the age where one might usually be entering grade school. Or they moved around so much in one year that, even with Sam being so smart, he still ended up just repeating a grade anyway because he might have missed a lot.

Does it ever say what grade Sam was in during the After-School Special flashbacks? If Dean's 18 in November 1997, Sam would have been 14, which is generally ninth grade, but my brain is telling me the show had him in eighth. Or I'm just a liar, and I can't check my DVDs right now.
MegTDJ: Jared - Blooper meg_tdj on September 30th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC)
If you're going by After School Special, then yeah, it can get confusing. They are 4 years apart, so they wouldn't have been in high school together unless Sam skipped or Dean failed a year, and since we can't even get straight whether it was November 1997 or the CLASS of '97, we may never know for sure.
Working for the Mandroid: Fan Apocalypsemoonshayde on September 30th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
How bad is it that I have been working on this all day and now I'm anxious that I have gotten nothing accomplished?

This extra time in here is driving me insane. Oh my brain.

Everywhere I go says that it's November 1997. Is this true canon or just fanon? See, I always assumed it was the Class of 97 because that made sense to me. That would have made Dean a year behind me (I'm a year older) and Sam the same year as my bro as they share the same birth year.
MegTDJ: SPN - WeeSam sadmeg_tdj on September 30th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
It's up to your own discretion, I think. At the beginning of the ep it said, "Truman High School, 1997," and Sam said something about it being November. Later in the ep, there were "CLASS OF '97" banners all over the school hallways and classrooms. You could go either way and still work with canon. I personally think the caption was just rounding up to the school's "class of" year, because you just can't deny those banners everywhere.
Hell's Half Acre: Headdeskhells_half_acre on September 30th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Geez, I didn't even think of the "class of" banners when I did my time-line...now I'm all confused. Silly show...way to make this harder than it has to be! :-P
     Mandya_phoenixdragon on September 30th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Even Kripke has admitted the error of Sam 'not talking' to Dean for two years after the script was done. Tis canon that Sam was there for four years, his position, his age - all match up to four, even though they said it was only two. Turned out later, he didn't TALK to his family for two years (and Evil!Kripke let the fans go nuts with that, lol!)

But yes, there is approximately four years and some small change between them.


No, you're not nuts, just tired and story-focused, lol!
dizzy4411: spn- dean thinks you're awesomedizzy4411 on October 1st, 2009 05:39 am (UTC)
I didn't think the show had been at all consistent with their ages, so I think you should be proud that you were able to figure it out at all. During the flashback ep, I tried to figure out their ages and gave up because it just seemed wrong. Oh well, I suppose it's not THAT important. It is a little annoying, though.