Monday, March 5, 2012

Virginia Snow

AHS with some snow, we had school that day
 I have always appreciated living in central Virginia. We have the best of all things here and Charlottesville is routinely listed among the top places to live in the country(I do not think that is a good thing). Our weather is a good example.  I am a native but must admit that both parents arrived from northern latitudes.    So snow is in my blood.  It is no big deal to me.  But snow around here means total insanity.   Bread and milk fly off from shelves at an alarming rate.  Students in class lose all self control when they see the white flakes coming down.  The carnage and disabled vehicles along the shoulder of the road looks similar to a scene from Mad Max, only everything is white instead of brown.

Just park that anywhere.
Two years ago when "snowmageddon" struck I am pretty sure that I witnessed several scenes reminiscent of Lord of the Flies.  Heavy snow pretty much shuts the place down.  Worse than that is when we get  just a few inches.   The typical southern driver get overconfident and seems to think their SUV can go as fast as they want with impunity.  Watching people slam on the brakes when things get slippery is so comical it is not funny.    What really gets things going around here is when snow is in the forecast.  The news and media spin everyone up into a frenzy and people prep for some sort of pending invasion.  I think our northern neighbors find it quite amusing.  

My dog Otter "swims" through 2+ feet of snow
But it is not all bad.  Once in a great while Mother Nature will decide to play a trick.  Such was the case this morning.  After a long night of grading papers I turned in around 12:30 AM and as I did I checked the weather online.  A clipper system was predicted to push south of us and maybe drop an inch or two in nearby counties.  Any snow would turn to rain after a brief period.  We were predicted to get only "snow showers".

At 5:54AM when the county's automated system called to announce a 2 hour delay I took the dog outside and there was not a flake in the air.  We received the second call at 7:51AM to announce school was canceled we had about 2 inches.  By the time I had the kids bundled up and we went outside it was up to 8 inches.  As a teacher I must say the unexpected snow day is a beautiful thing.  Sure it throws a wrench in SOL testing schedules,  makes it tough for parents who have to work, fouls up countless plans that hinge on a Red/Blue Day cycle and we will likely have to make it up.  But a surprise snow day brings a euphoric response among teachers and kids alike.  A welcome diversion and break from the routine, at least for the TU.

Should we expect a few more snow days?  Who knows.  I would have preferred this one back in January but I am not complaining.   That in like a lion thing sure seems true so far.  This month involves a lot of change.  March has reminded us that the weather can be pleasant, unpredictable and sadly sometimes violent and deadly.  But today at least it brings a welcome respite.   I am not worried about school related matters and instead will enjoy one the best things about being a teacher.   So to all the teachers across the south where it doesn't snow and all the northern ones out there where snow is routine, I send my condolences.      I'm off to take a nap and make some microwave popcorn.


  1. Congratulations on your unexpected day off from this snow-crazy New Hampshire teacher. It's magical stuff, snow, and when it results in an unexpected day off to watch your dog play otter, it's....well, it's downright heavenly.