I went to college in New Hampshire and remember walking next to a boy whose mustache—this was in 1976, so we’re talking large and significant mustaches–froze on the way to class.
It was like watching a science experiment.
Granted, the class to which we were heading started at eight a.m., our dorm was about a half-mile from the building, and it was January. But still. The hair on his face froze right in front of me. He broke off a piece of it. I kept it for a while in an envelope as a souvenir of life on the tundra.
Today I’m wary of driving through the couple of inches of snow lining my driveway. I have become a snow wimp. And I’m not the only one.
My university canceled one full day of classes and one morning’s worth of classes last week because of the weather. It was—you guessed it—snowing. My schedule this semester has me teaching two long seminars meeting—you guessed it—one day each per week.
In an effort to offer full-disclosure and to be honest with my dear readers, I never know whether to feel a sense of celebration or a sense of loss when confronted with a snow day.
I know exactly what I feel when a snow day is declared if it falls on a day when I don’t have a class, however: I feel robbed. “Can you believe they canceled classes for this?” I rage. I stomp around the house thinking of all those poor students being denied a decent education because of the pathetically litigious nature of our society. I begin to write letters to select members of the administration, letters employing scathing sarcasm, about “our tax dollars at work” and the “underlying paternalistic lack of trust” shown by their decisions.
On a day when my own classes are canceled, though, I usually think something along the lines of “How about that? I guess it is pretty bad out there. Besides, this almost makes up for those furlough days they keep assigning us. Would anybody like a second cup of coffee? I’m making another pot. How about macaroni-and-cheese for lunch?”
My students will never freeze their faces on the way to class and that’s probably a good thing. But somewhere in New Hampshire (not to mention Michigan, Idaho, and Quebec) there are brave souls making their way across the ice to arrive, laughing and pink-cheeked, before their professor gets there.
She’s still in the driveway, listening to the weather, and hoping for a snow day.
(Photo by Flickr user ab9kt)