Other than when I taught seventeen or so years ago, today was my first “official” early dismissal due to snow. Tomorrow is my first official snow day, canceled this afternoon already because of the blizzard warning! Right now we have moderate snow falling, but the wind is howling. Shoveling tonight might have made tomorrow easier, but it would have been absolutely miserable. The windchill was hovering around zero a few hours ago, and the wind has picked up since. I don’t mind the cold when it’s calm outside: even below zero is okay if it’s still and I’m dressed for it. I hate the wind when it’s cold, though, and for some reason it’s really windy in this area. That was something that really struck me when we were in New England this summer – even when it’s windy there, the wind feels different. I assume it’s because Wisconsin is pretty flat, so there are few obstacles to slow or block the wind.
I felt the absolute elation that teachers feel when there’s a snow day. The feeling has nothing to do with not wanting to work: just the opposite, in fact. Missing a day of school requires that we either shift everything by one day, or re-plan everything so it will fit in a shorter amount of time. The elation comes from knowing that I can’t get to school tomorrow, so I can’t go to work. It’s almost like freedom that is forced upon a large group of people: we all feel a release from day-to-day stresses, and don’t have to think about the meeting we’re supposed to have, or the student who persistently gives us trouble in class, or even the students we love and appreciate every day.
I feel like a little kid again, all excited to be able to go out and play in the snow. Play is now shoveling, but maybe also skiing or sledding in the afternoon. Wheee!