Grown up Woe – No Snow Days

There is nothing more fun to kids than a snow day!! The pure pleasure of having the day off from school to do with as you please is such a cause for celebration. It’s an unexpected vacation day that you did not have to plan for, save for, or feel guilty about taking off for – it’s just given to you! I can’t think of any other day that is utilized so joyously. There are no demands or expectations – it is just ENJOYED!!!

Snow Day Announcement
Alas, we grown-ups that are not working for the school systems, seldom, if ever, get a snow day. A few years back my husband and I drove into work (yes, we work at the same place but that’s another blog post) and were told to go home because of a power outage. Helloooooooo grown up snow day!!! Unfortunately for my husband, he was able to work from home as all the programs he needs are loaded on his lap top. He didn’t get to embrace the ‘snow day’ at all – instead he plugged in at home and worked away. I, on the other hand, did not have a lap top with all necessary accoutrements for working off site so….. I got to enjoy my ‘snow day’ (albeit with a slight twinge of guilt). Should that ‘snow day’ come around again, I now would have to work from home instead of enjoying the snow day as I too have a laptop with all I need to enjoy working off site. Sad day 😦

Losing snow days is part of growing up – some things belong to the realm of childhood. However, some kids go to school virtually!! I know, seems strange but it works for a select group of students and I would guess that population is growing every year. Which means that this group of students never experience the joys of an unexpected windfall – the ‘snow day’!!! Even chillier – with the increase in laptop, chrome books and iPad use in classrooms, there is a very real possibility that ‘traditional’ schools will soon have some system in place for students to access lessons while home on a ‘snow day’. What a loss!

I know educators around the world would argue that not losing classroom time, virtual or otherwise, is a really good thing and that our nation is behind all other nations because we don’t prioritize education the way other nations do and if we want our children to achieve more we have to expect more from them. I have also read arguments that it will help future businesses. This following quote from an article I read made me shiver a bit … “That’s why it’s exciting to think that schools could begin grooming a generation of future workers, managers and leaders who understand the value of flexible working options and who are accustomed to using technology to work more efficiently”. (see full article) I’m just ‘old-school’ enough that I cringe at the ever increasing ways we are ‘grooming’ the younger generations to interact virtually and eliminating opportunities to interact in ‘real-time’.

Snow days long gone
Man, I’m glad I am not a school-aged child now days. I hope I never have to explain to my grandchildren what a ‘snow day’ was. Another reason for being glad to be over fifty!

I understand the value of an education and hard work and instilling the virtues of efficient time management. I want my children and grandchildren to be successful and to embrace hard work and put in the time necessary for all those things. I also want them to have joy in their lives and be able to embrace thedetours in life that come their way. Detour from studies via the snow day route provides opportunities to get out side and go sledding with friends, make snowmen, build a fort, or stay inside and read a book just for pleasure.

I say life without snow days is another version of Global Climate Change that should be troublesome to us and not a legacy we want to leave for the next generation.

Oprah giving out snow days

19 comments

  1. We lived in North Carolina for several years and are very familiar with Severe Weather Days! My granddaughter was born on the backside of a hurricane so I am extremely thankful for the nurses that were there to care for both my daughter and granddaughter. Thank you for being there in the midst of the worst and the best for many people!!!

  2. As teachers for more than 30 years, we counted Snow Days as great family times to dig out and all of us go out to breakfast in 4-wheel drive. Now we’re retired, and when the local school districts call a snow day, we repeat our old habit, bundle up, dig out and go for breakfast. You’re never too old for a Snow Day in Colorado.

  3. This was an interesting post because it wasn’t what I expected, and it seems to have pushed a button in me…

    As a child who grew up in Michigan, and a teacher who began her career in Maine, I can truly appreciate the free “gift” of snow days. However, snow days were not gifts for my police officer husband, or health care workers, or emergency responders. While I hunkered down in jammies with a good book, hospitals were short-staffed, accidents were piling up on the roads, and many working parents had child-care issues. For my low socioeconomic students, no school might mean missing two meals and being alone in a cold house.

    In parts of our country, weather days can mean hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires – truly frightening events. (I was teaching here in Florida the fall of 2004, when schools were shut down three times for hurricanes.) So I guess my point is children don’t necessarily miss out by not experiencing snow days. What many do miss out on is experiencing the luxury of found time because our cultural norm is scheduling activities into every non-school moment of children’s lives. Perhaps we could lighten up on children’s schedules and teach them how to embrace the gift of unstructured time, so they’ll know how to enjoy it with “snow day” mentality.

    I leave my soapbox now… 😉

    1. There are always two sides to the coin Natine and I appreciate hearing it. As noted above, not all get to experience the ‘gift’ of a snow day.

      I still stand by the need for kids to have a chance to enjoy the grace of a ‘freebie’ and at the same time recognize that for some, a day away from school can equate to deprivation as in those that find school a safe haven and source of nourishment – both for the body and spirit.

      My main regret is the ‘grooming’ of future little ‘stay-at-home’ virtual citizens. The thought is very scary to me. Not having snow days because the kids can get their lessons from home does not provide either a hot meal nor an encouraging and safe respite!

      I guess I should get off my soapbox now too!

      Love the discussion and different angles this post has provided!

      Thanks Natine! Fun to take turns on the soap box 🙂

  4. Yay for this post!! I hope it is read by many and changes their way of current thought.

    I’d like to add in another point – This quote in your post doesn’t just make me shiver a bit – it makes me mad as all hell! “That’s why it’s exciting to think that schools could begin grooming a generation of future workers, managers and leaders who understand the value of flexible working options and who are accustomed to using technology to work more efficiently”.

    GROOMING a generation of WORKERS This statement indicates that education is no longer about education, it is about GROOMING WORKERS. Education is about opening the mind, expanding the senses, unveiling potential, encouraging differences, rising to challenges, socialising, becoming well-rounded, experiencing the world and learning how to learn. A student educated in the correct meaning will be able to learn new skills easily, have many skills to utilise throughout life, be comfortable in their own skins, be socially aware and able and be able to choose their role as a contributing part of society according to their own particular bent, interest, talent etc.

    The workplace the grooming comment refers to is a very small part of our society. One has to ask if the world as we know it came to an end, which type of ex-student, educated in which manner would you rather have to hand?

    That’s the end of today’s rant 🙂

    1. Well said!!!

      I agree “Grooming” makes me think of some very scary social experiments! I love the rant, I love the responses, I love the dialogue!!!

      Students should be free to develop all the attributes you note in your comments. I certainly do not want to live in a society that is more concerned with grooming workers than encouraging free and creative thinkers!

      Thanks Pauline!

  5. The weird thing for me is I don’t remember a snow day when I went to school. We lived in the far and frozen north. Snow was plowed half-way up the height of telephone poles (remember those?). That’s a lot of snow. Still, no snow days in my memory. Hmm.

    1. Hmmm is right Tess. I do remember telephone poles but I can also remember snow days. Maybe you had them but you weren’t able to quite enjoy them therefore the memory of them has not stuck??

      If I were Oprah, I’d give you a snow day right now!!!

      1. I’d remember a snow day because I had a ‘little sister’ and when home, I had to watch her. Extra thorn-in-the-side I thought I wouldn’t forget. Who knows. Still bllizzards had a habit of beginning Friday or Saturday nights and ending in 24 hours. Living on the lake gave us the extra snow.

        1. Having to take care of a little sister would definately put a damper on the day!

          Stopping by your blog, I noticed you were participating in the 100 work challenge. Love that! Think you could come up with 100 words for the prompt below.

          Just once, Tess would like to know what a snow day felt like unencumbered by the responsibility of her younger sibling… 🙂

  6. Ah…snow days…sleeping in, calling friends, gathering outside, snow ball fights, sledding, hot chocolate, grilled cheese with tomato soup while clothes dried in the dryer. REPEAT. I always wondered if my mother loved snow days as much as we did. 🙂

    1. I forgot the multiple dryings of wet snow mittens and leggings and hats, etc… I still think grilled cheese and tomato soup is one of the best combinations.

      I think if we took a survey Jill, the kids’ enthusiasm would far outweigh the parents’. I do however, remember enjoying the snow days when my kids were little. I did not however, have to navigate work and snow days at the same time – another reason to be thankful.

  7. I really wanted at least two “gifts” this year! I cherish the moments my kids are home from school during those unexpected times. I realized this week that once they have graduated I won’t have that opportunity anymore. Boo!

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