Snow Day

Okay, today isn't actually a snow day.  We had no school already -- it's Martin Luther King Day, as well as the end of the first half of the school year.  But since it's midmorning and I'm enjoying the intense quiet of big, soft flakes falling, I thought I would take a moment to extol the virtues of snow days.

Teachers work hard.  Everyone knows that.  They also claim they don't get paid enough, but my husband likes to point out that no one thinks they get paid enough.  (When was the last time you heard someone volunteer that they were happy with their salary and thought it was perfectly fair, or even a little generous?)  I'm not going to argue salaries right now, but I do want to point out that teachers have an awful lot of perks, too, and one of them is snow days.  This extends to sleet, ice, freezing rain, high winds, or a term I heard for the first time last year: "Wintry Mix."  Which means, "We don't know what we're expecting, but it can't be good."

In the olden days when I was in school, there were several days when I remember that school was canceled the night before in anticipation of snow that never actually fell.  Whoops.  The trend in the last couple of years, by contrast, has been to wait until the last possible second before canceling anything.  So, we report to school on time; two hours later, when the snow is falling thickly, school is canceled early and all the young drivers are released out onto the road.  I can't think of anything more foolish, and the only explanation I can imagine is that no one wants to cancel pre-emptively and risk embarassment.

But for all the complaints we offer, the truth is that we love snow days.  Who wouldn't?  An unexpected, forced day off is an amazing gift to any hardworking professional.  I try to take full advantage of it by spending the first half of the day in a bathrobe with something hot to drink and a magazine -- and the second half catching up on all the things I've fallen behind on.  Usually, the first "half" of the day is a little longer than the second, but I consider that an acceptable margin of error.