Snow

The first snowfall of the year of any consequence and the nearness of Christmas have set children's hearts aflutter. Concentration was something they did last night during the play when they had to remember lines of dialogue, song lyrics, and where to stand (or crawl) on the stage. It is amazing what a little frozen precipitation floating down from the sky can do to the brains of people attending (and, if I am to be honest, working in) schools. I wonder if there is the same phenomenon in places like Alaska or Siberia where snow is as commonplace as sun and sand in the Sahara. Are Alaskan and Siberian school children driven to distraction by snowflakes?

I was besieged by sixth, seventh, and eighth graders petitioning me to close the school and send them home, or, barring that, to declare that school be closed tomorrow, no matter what the City and County schools decide to do. The beseeching eyes, the hands clasped in prayerful supplication - I felt like I was back in Southeast Asia where the children are sent out to beg alms from the tourists - all our students needed were some rags to wear...

Being a Maine boy myself, I have a special affinity for snow. I love to see it, though I hate to shovel it, and there's something about the possibility of a snow day that twitterpates my 49-year-old heart still and makes me feel more like I'm 9-years-old. I wake up early, ostensibly to check the weather so I can responsibly inform the school population as to whether our doors will be opening on-time, late, or not at all - but I am secretly hoping for one of those Chance-card-like pronouncements: "Snow falls on Baltimore. Advance to Go and collect one day off from school."

Last year's snow days were a bit much; back home in Maine the buses would have strapped on the snow chains and followed the plows to my house to haul me off to school. I suppose the motto here in Baltimore is "Better Safe than Sorry" or maybe "We don't have enough plows or places to put our snow." Whatever the case, too many consecutive snow days gets boring. Knowing the night before that tomorrow will be yet another day off from school helps you know not to set your alarm, but the joy of the unexpected, yet hoped-for day off is absent.

Maybe we will have a delay or a cancellation tomorrow. These are rare December occurrences in Baltimore, so I am not expecting either one. But I will take whatever God gives and bless him for it!

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