Friday, February 1, 2008

Curse You, Mrs. B. (Thoughts for a Snow Day)

So, I got The Call this morning.
"No school today! Go back to bed!"

This causes me to think several thoughts. I do not promise consistency of thought at 4:45 in the morning, so don't bother pointing out that this doesn't make sense unless you're witty enough to entertain the rest of us while you do it. Let's examine a few thoughts, shall we?

  • My first thought is, "Huh. I guess they all did their homework after all." You see, if any one student had decided to gamble by not doing his homework last night, the laws of Pedagogical Meteorology dictate that there would be no snow day.
  • On the one hand, I really thought that we might get away with one. The snow started early yesterday, and sometimes that means the roads get cleared overnight. There are few pleasures in this world as pure (or as purely sinful) as the clear, sweet schadenfreude of seeing the faces of 300 6th-graders who didn't do their homework last night and still can't quite believe they're at school when there's snow on the ground. When a schoolteacher tells you, "Oh, I don't do it for the money. I do it for the look on their shiny little faces," this is what they're really talking about.
  • That's two hands, so moving on to the left foot, we find this gem:
  • "I honestly enjoy my work, but at 5:00 a.m. it's impossible to keep the glee out of your voice when you call the next person on the phone tree." At 4:45 a.m., laziness comes as easily as lies to a Governor.
  • And on the right foot, "Whew!" You see, we live in one district and teach in another. My kids live in a very rural district, where a lot of kids come from areas that become truly impassable (safely) for school buses. That means they have a reputation for closing school when the first flakes fly. They closed last night, during the thickest part of the snowstorm. Having our district close (a rare event--we've gone three years at a stretch without a snow day) on the same day means we can stay home with them, which is quite lucky.
  • Why can't we just send them to their awesome blacksmith/babysitter? Good question. That would be because that son-of-a-bitch went winging off to Florida before we got a foot of snow dumped on our heads. I wouldn't say I'm jealous; I just hate him for having something I covet, namely sweet, sweet Lady Florida. But not jealous.

So, what are the downsides? Well, I really do like my job. And for me, this day off really amounts to a day to do carpentry, wiring, and drywall. Besides that, today was to be our "Out of the Blue Day." They didn't do this stuff when I was a kid, but it's pretty neat. Maybe I'll just make that its own post, but suffice it to say, the kids would have enjoyed it. That's not really a big deal, though, since we'll move it. Still, it does warm my heart a little to think that the little darlings couldn't really win today no matter what happened.

What? Who's Mrs. B?
Mrs. B. is the reason I don't have any students at school today. You see, Mrs. B. decided that she needed a snow day, and a snow day on a Friday would be ideal. Therefore, she resolved to cause one. How does one person cause a school cancellation due to snow?
There are various accepted methods, but Mrs. B hangs a very large paper snowman, complete with large snowflakes, blue background and the words "LET IT SNOW!" She hung the thing up outside our classroom door yesterday morning just to make sure.
What's that? You don't believe in such things? I'll buy that from the Atheists. The rest of you just need to transfer a little faith across. Mrs. B. states that The Snowman has about an 80% record of causing school cancellations, having failed once last year.

So, if you're one of those parents who's looking for a babysitter in central Illinois today, you know who to blame.


joated said...

Being one of the few computer literate teachers at my middle school, I was charged with setting up the computerized automated phone call system and recording the messages whenever there was a school cancellation or delay.

This had two benefits:

1- I was the first person called when school was cancelled as the principal would let me know what sort of message had to be broadcast

2- The day after the closure I would be showered with comments such as: "I love being awakened by your voice!" from the young, attractive, single female teachers. (When spoken in the hall during student passing, that raised a few eyebrows along with my ego!)

Don said...


Today was rain, snow, hail, sleet, snow, more rain and then more snow, in that order. It was a good day.

Anonymous said...