Wednesday, February 27, 2008

No business like snow business

Snow Day!

The equivalent of winning the lottery for a 6th grader. Today I was supposed to start a three day residency in a middle school outside of Oberlin Ohio but at 6am I got a call from a teacher at that school informing me that there was no school today because of snow.

Now we do winter pretty well up here on the north coast of the United States of America. Cleveland has plenty of snow plows and rust bucket cowboys to careen them about at breakneck speeds throwing blinding salt laced slushies across windshields of automobiles they pass and knocking down the mailbox in front of parent's house on a regular basis. An approaching snow plow will send whole cadres of grade school bus stop denizens running shriek squealing away from the roadside to avoid being covered with an icy batter of dirty frozen street sludge. And plow drivers never stopped their trucks to get out and give chase when pelted with snowballs – they are the one safe moving target that can be besieged with impunity - nonchalantly shaking off the icy missiles like a buffalo quivering its shoulder to send a fly on its way.

Usually the snow doesn't slow the populous here in town. Well, it might slow down things a bit but there is none of the crippling insanity that happens in places like Washington D.C. and further south where an inch of snow shuts the world down and is the impetus for stampeding in the Chinese made and most likely flammable electric blanket aisle at Wal-Mart. (Okay, I misspelled Wal-Mart as wallmart and MS word spell check caught it and corrected it with the trademarked spelling – that's a little creepy.) Anyway, snow generally doesn't stop us here. Chicago, Detroit, Green bay, Cleveland, Buffalo etc. etc. we can handle this.

Now the snow has stopped out there and it is a winter wonderland – the fluffy white stuff hasn't been tossed around wheel wells and drug around until it is all dirty and the colors of toe jam. Perfect for sledding or any other wintery fun time activities – none of which I care to partake in. Really, they could have had school today – it was worse yesterday when they did have school. But see, up here there are snow days built into the calendar – so just as often as not, snow days are called kind of as an afterthought – a reward for the inconveniences suffered the day before. But hey, I'm not one to complain. I got to stay in my warm bed a bit later today.

Hard to believe that just a little over a week ago I was walking around in 90 degree heat and humidity in a rice paddy on Bali. Well, another week and Sara and I are off to teach and speak at a conference in Istanbul – I don't think they get any snow days there.

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