Snow days, snow days, snow days. Indiana sure does love its snow days. As a former resident of Utah, a state whose motto is “The Greatest Snow on Earth,” I don’t get it.
I went to school in Utah from Kindergarten through 12th grade and then for several years of college. How many snow days did I get while I was a student in the state with the greatest snow on earth? One.
Snow days were unheard of at the time. Well, I should qualify that statement. We’d heard of snow days, but to us they were like mythical creatures like Zeus or Hercules, characters only seen in books or on Saturday morning cartoons. No way was it ever going to snow to the point where school needed to be canceled in Utah. I can’t even count the number of days we had to go to school when it snowed more than a foot within a short time frame. There wasn’t such a thing as “too much snow.”
In fact, I’m pretty sure that the one snow day we actually got ensured that no more snow days would ever be granted in Utah. It had dumped about 18 to 24 inches of snow in the middle of the night during my senior year of high school. Most seniors didn’t ride the bus to school, so one of my friends showed up bright and early in his yellow 1968 Ford Mustang just like he did every school morning. I climbed in the car with my other friends from the neighborhood, and we all headed to school. I can still picture that 1968 Ford Mustang spitting out snow 30 feet high as it spun its wheels trying to carve a path through the thick drifts.
We made it to school safely and on time as did all the other kids in our school. We all sat through our first three classes of the day and got in and out of our lunch hour. Then? The school decided to declare it a snow day. Why? I have no idea and neither did any of the other students. It had stopped snowing almost 10 hours earlier, and it didn’t look like it was going to snow anymore before we had to head home at the end of our regular day of school. The whole incident seemed to defeat the purpose of what snow days were intended for — safety.
So that was it — the one and only snow day I got while growing up in Utah.
Now as a resident of Indiana, a state known for its basketball and not for its snow, snow days seem to be popping up around every corner.
While we were away on vacation this January, we had planned on Addie missing at least seven days of school. How many did she actually end up missing? Two. The rest of the days were all canceled and declared snow days one right after the other.
I don’t know what goes into the thought process when Indiana schools declare snow days, but I would have loved their decision-making process as a kid that’s for sure. But now? As a husband of a wife who has to be stuck in the house all day for the umpteenth time with the kids, due to snow days that seem to have been declared for nothing more than single digit temperatures? I shiver at the thought.
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