Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All Schools in Bonner County Are Closed Today

Those words on KSPT Radio Station were music to our ears.  Yesterday I'm betting that word of today's school closure spread faster via Facebook than through the radio announcements.  

All tech advancements aside,  I know the "Hallelujah" choruses among ecstatic students probably matched those of yesteryear.  

And, the teachers in front of those classrooms  when such announcements come over the intercom,  probably still do their best to maintain stone faces, feigning absolute disgust that education will be disrupted.

Once they arrive at the staff room, however,  it's a different scene.  Whooping and hollering and general euphoria reign,  just as it has among the students.  It's just not professional, though, for educators to act thrilled in front of their students about having a day off. 

During the years I taught school, I eventually learned to avoid having my face seen in public on school closure days.  

People had negative things to say, partially because if they were parents, they had to figure out what to do with their kids.  I'm guessing part of their disgust could have been a little regret if they were working and didn't get the day off themselves.

Probably the most memorable treatment I ever received on a snow day came one day when I joined friends at a restaurant for lunch.  The waitress, all the while, acted indignant and spared no words in expressing her disdain for our not having to go to school that day.

I wanted to respond but just kept my mouth shut, determining that next time I had lunch with friends on a snow day, it would be at their house or in a different town, if I could get there. I also don't think I left her a tip.

We were always at the mercy of someone else's decision and never had any part in influencing snow days, but we sure learned to hang low whenever these "gifts" would give everyone packed inside the school house a break from each other.

Well, today is a snow day, and the announcement of school closures did come yesterday afternoon rather than early this morning.  So, students and teachers drew the creme de la creme of days off---didn't even have to get up early to listen for the "No school . . . ." report.  Got to sleep in.  What a deal!

These days the announcement doesn't include "All schools in Bonner County . . . . " Instead, the east side of the county is Lake Pend Oreille School District 84.  I did see on the KREM-2 streaming banner last night that West Bonner County School District called off classes for both today and tomorrow. 

That's not to say that days like this are not needed. It's cold out there, and there was no gradual decrease of temperatures allowing people and animals to acclimate.  It just plain got cold, and with the wind blowing, it's that much colder.  

In a rural area like this, many of those jubilant kids might be sleeping in, but they've also got work to do to help their families see that conditions don't get worse, that animals are properly cared for, that pipes don't freeze, etc.   Plus, for kids riding the bus to be standing outside for any amount of time can be dangerous. 

I would be lying if I said I didn't love these days, but it's also important to note that the extra time off often allowed me time to go into school and catch up wherever I was falling behind in my teaching duties.  

Quiet time in a classroom to organize is Heaven.  Any teacher will tell you that. 

So, if we weren't completely snowbound, the trips to school on snow days happened more often than not.  

Anyway, it's cold outside here in North Idaho and all across the Northwest.  I've seen photos on Facebook this morning of my daughter and her friends sledding in Seattle.  Maybe by the time she gets to Sandpoint tomorrow night, she can locate her ice skates and go try out the ice on Thanksgiving Day.  

I also have followed the trip to Maui of one lady from Sandpoint.  She returned to Seattle yesterday after several days of Heavenly tropical weather, only to learn her flight to Spokane had been cancelled.  I'm betting her return to the North country fits to total picture of a "rude awakening."  

Hard to tell folks about your trip to Paradise when your teeth are chattering too much.  I hope she has found a warm spot to bundle up somewhere as I write this morning.

The fun of winter has begun, and with it come many perspectives.  One thing's for sure:  a lot of happy young people (and teachers) are enjoying the bliss on this cold day in the Northwest.

Note:  If it warms up a little on Friday, be sure to visit with Willie and me at our book signing Friday from 3-5 p.m. at Vanderford's.  

Can't make it but want a personally autographed book as a gift:  call Vanderford's at 208-263-2417.

After the signing, plan to watch the Sandpoint's community Christmas-tree lighting ceremony just around the corner. 

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