When the iPhone Doppler radar is passed around the teacher’s lounge, the snow day discussions officially commence. We talk about what days we will have to make up for the potential snow day. Some of us want the day off, others are vehemently opposed. Either way, I cannot help but feel a twinge of excitement in anticipation of seeing our landscape blanketed it the white stuff.
Living in Georgia in the Winter is tricky. The weather is random and the snow predictions become amusing by February. This past Christmas, we had a wintry postcard scene outside our windows. Years ago, we had a mini-blizzard in March. Then mother nature wields her leafy wand and we are suddenly hit with a warm front, days after freezing temperatures hold us hostage in our homes.
The days preceding the incoming storm create a flurry of excitement. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.) Facebook friends post the weather updates. People comment on what they think will happen. Everyone learns how to read the Doppler Radars. Are we teal? Does that mean we will get ice, freezing, rain, or snow? We add the weather app to our phones so we can be updated minute by minute.
The Northerners scoff at our snow talk. I know this because my family is from New Jersey and New York. I believe that in New Jersey, small children and animals must be obscured by the multiple feet of snow before they cancel school.
It is also interesting when they cancel school here. When my friend Jen and I worked in DeKalb, we carpooled to work. On a day that school should have actually been cancelled, we found ourselves skidding our way to work over 25 miles of ice. I believe we bonded that morning. It was almost as if we were trapped in a scene from Julie of the Wolves.
We had to rely on each other’s skill and ingenuity to survive. That day, my heart stopped pounding around lunch time. If you don’t know me, you should understand that I hate driving. Some may say that I’m not a good driver. My sense of direction is fodder for good laughs and I have absolutely no depth perception. So driving over ice and snow is enough to put me in therapy.
There have been other “snow days” that school had been cancelled and I was at DSW by 12.
The night before the predicted snow storms are the most exciting. We refresh the home page on the county website an inordinate amount of times. We text each other and make predictions. Oh what fun!
Our principal told us yesterday to keep our “snow lists” handy. We have a chain of staff members we call to alert that school has been cancelled. Then there are those who just like to call because the words, “school is cancelled” just sound so profound. Those same people almost sound disappointed when you already know.
If the snow day comes, all parents are mandated to frolic in the snow with small children and over-excited teenagers. The obligatory snow “person” must be made. As a teacher, I think of the curriculum pacing and how much the snow day will affect my teaching. One unexpected day off can change the series of events in a classroom. It is almost like Back to the Future when one altered plan or decision changes history for all those involved. Of course, this can cause much strife in the life of the “O.C.” teachers (who plan each and every minute of the day.) I am one of those crazy people, but that is a discussion for another blog.
We wait for the snow to thaw and for our snow people to escape into thin air. There is nothing more sad than a once portly snow person turning into an emaciated version of its former self. Especially when the dirt mixed in becomes visible. The stick arms fall off and the surprised mouth diminishes.
If the snow day doesn’t come, we come to school as if the snow frenzy was a figment of ALL our imaginations. The hub bub dies down and we resume our day and ignore the wistful dream of a snowy wonderland. We may even teach a lesson on weather and how to read a Doppler Radar.