|One of last year's Snow Days|
When you've spent almost your entire life in school, you develop habits, little rituals, maybe one can even call them rules, for Snow Days. Here are mine.
First, the "Don'ts."
1. Don't miss the opportunity to sleep in, once you've verified that school is, in fact, actually closed. Check the Duluth News Tribune website, or the Northlands's NewsCenter's closing list. They offer a handy-dandy service via textcaster.com that will send you texts when the Duluth schools are closed. Check your school email. Maybe you have friends or family who email or text you with the news.
|Boat barely visible in the distance today|
2. Don't question reality! Don't start formulating objections along the lines of "But there's hardly any snow at my house" or "The roads here are clear." Just be grateful that Mother Nature provided the occasion, and the Superintendent of ISD 709 recognized it. Now, go to sleep!
|The second pancake|
|Another picture from last winter|
Now, the "Do's."
1. Do help with clearing the snow where you live. It's good for you, and your family/neighbors will appreciate it.
|Green lichen & red Mountain Ash berries|
2. Do take a quiet walk alone in the snow (take that leftover pancake with you and feed it to the birds and squirrels). Duluth is blessed with beautiful parks and trails, so go explore them. Enjoy the special kind of peace and silence one can only experience while walking through a snow-covered world.
While you're at it, you might practice reciting your Poetry Out Loud poem (I know, I said don't think about schoolwork, but I don't really think of Poetry Out Loud as schoolwork--someday, when you're older, working at some very un-poetic job, you'll look back on the walk you took through the snowy woods, reciting poetry, and wish you could do it all over again). Yesterday, Charlie K said he'd be reciting his choice, Billy Collins's "Snow Day," today, so I hope he does!
3. Do plan something special for a bit later. I usually go out to lunch or dinner with my brother. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, but whatever you do, it should be fun.
4. Do something you normally wouldn't, something you never seem to have enough time for, usually. I often take the time on Snow Days to write to or call an old friend of mine who lives far away in Colorado. It's something I don't do often enough.
5. Do plan an afternoon nap or plan to get to bed early--we all need more sleep than we get.
6. Only when you finally feel you must, Do check your teachers' homework calendars. (Keep in mind that they want to enjoy their Snow Day, too, so don't expect them to update the calendars right away in the morning!)
7. Do remember that the A/B rotation does not change. Tomorrow is another B-day, and your teachers will expect you to be prepared for it.
Note: I know I seem to be giving conflicting advice: first, I tell you not to think about school, and then later, I tell you to think about school. Life is all about balance, and very few of us can claim to live a properly balanced life.
|Leif Erickson Park, last winter|
8. As the sun sets, Do make appropriate offerings to the Snow Gods. (Ms Durant advocates dancing! I order a pizza from Pizza Lucé and give the delivery person a very generous tip.) Be as superstitious as you want, but--secretly, silently, sincerely--pray for another Snow Day tomorrow! I think we had five last year--we can do better this year!
[Update 1/7/14: When I said we could do better, I never imagined we'd do so before the end of first semester!]
[Update 1/27/14: When I said we could do better, I never imagined we'd have 6 cancelled days in the 2013/14 school year!]
[Update 1/28/14: When I said we could do better, I never imagined we'd have 7 days of cancelled classes in the 2013/14 school year! (I'm counting this as 6.5, however, as teachers have to come in for a shortened day of meetings.)]
[Update 4/4/14: When I said we could do better, I never imagined we'd have 8 days of cancelled classes in the 2013/14 school year!]
If you have any Snow-Day habits or rules, please share them in a comment below!