Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Faux Snow Day

After all my griping about all the traffic last night I went to work today. My wife told me I was nuts, and I'm not disputing that. But I was up, and I was ready to go in. The only issue was that pile of snow in back of my car, compounded by the plow dumping even more.

At 5:50 AM, I woke up my innocent high-school kid, who was happily sleeping. I told her I needed her help. This was when I discovered we only had one shovel, as we were nice enough to lend the other to our neighbors, who were nice enough to keep it. Fortunately, my car was such a mess that by the time I finished cleaning it, daughter had shoveled me out completely. I then sent her back to bed, but she said no, she would finish the whole walk and steps. This was pretty good news, and she had done a great job, so I gave her 40 bucks. Everyone was happy.

The first thing I heard at school was that the trailers were closed and we would be in the auditorium. I'm supposed to give a midterm exam tomorrow so I figured I'd try to review. In fact, I procured the classroom of one of our 65 absent teachers to conduct it. When I suggested this to the class, they did not take to it at all. There were hundreds of students in the auditorium doing nothing, and why should they not be as privileged as everyone else? I decided, in the interest of public relations, to let the kids have their way. In any case, the school had canceled all of today's midterms. So I decided to put off mine a day, review tomorrow, and give the test Friday.

We called the classes of our absent colleagues up and took attendance for them. There wasn't much chance of hiring 65 subs on a day like today. I suppose it was a good day for the school budget.

The really good news, as far as I was concerned, was that traffic was almost normal. This morning the parkways looked a little slippery, so most of us were only moving around 35 MPH. During the afternoon traffic was not only normal, but also extremely light.

Other people wake up in the middle of the night and contemplate love, modern problems, or perhaps the meaning of life. I wake up in the middle of the night and think about snow. Fortunately, it doesn't snow often enough that I'm much bothered by that.

So what does it all mean? To me, it means we'd likely have been better off with schools closed. Certainly my students didn't much benefit from today. Many of my students, like everyone else's, came in only to take midterm exams that won't happen until tomorrow. Many attended morning classes and hightailed it out of there rather than sit in half-empty classrooms or the auditorium.

Kids kept asking me why Miss Jones, or whoever, was absent. "Because she's smarter than I am," was my unvarying reply.

Did you go in? What happened at your school today? Should it have remained open? Why or why not?
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