We still need snow days

Charlie Adams, Opinion Editor

snowy road
Snow is rare in the Little City – but when it does come, we all know the joy of waking up to a Snow Day. (Photo courtesy of CC Meade)

As winter approaches and online school persists, students, teachers, and parents alike face a threat that dares to snatch away a time honored tradition which, until now, has gone unchallenged. And no, it’s not the war on Christmas.

It is the Snow Day! Glorious, fantastical, and utterly crucial to the pursuits of friendships, memories, mental health, and happiness. The School Board, superintendent, or whoever else might bid to taint it with the likes of BigBlueButton (aka school Zoom) must refrain in the name of these ideals.

On the cold weekday nights of December, January, February, and March, I find myself obsessively refreshing the Weather app and snowdaycalculator.com, flushing ice cubes down the toilet, and wearing my pajamas inside out. There is little else that could make me do such ridiculous things; this is probably the closest I’ll ever come to astrology. Maniacally peering out the windows of my house, I hunt for signs of frost on the lawn, precipitation in the skies, or the condensation of my breath as it magically crystalizes in mid air. And as I go through my rituals, text messages fill up my phone, tiny blue prayers to some omnipotent entity worshipped as the patron saint of procrastinators, the champion of the exhausted, and the deity of “I really don’t want to wake up early and drive to school/work tomorrow.” 

No moment, however, is more exciting than when the day has finally arrived. Whether I am told by the wonderful phrase “Due to inclement weather…” in a text or tweet, by the view of a fresh blanket of snow on the road, or by the inundation of Snapchat story posts, it is a thrill like no other. Even in our at-home environment, this joy would persist because over the course of distance learning the line between school and life has been blurred by classwork, homework, Schoology Conferences, and same-day midnight assignments. Now more than ever we need time unintentionally set aside to intentionally do nothing. The opportunities are endless, from a day of sleeping to a much earned Netflix binge, a board game around the fire, or a socially distanced snowball fight. The same is true for teachers and staff overloaded with adjusting to online school or overcome with assignments to grade or the overwhelming personal responsibilities COVID has created.

After all the traditions that a year under strict quarantine has ripped away, Snow Days cannot be another victim. Furthermore, the “FCCPS Snow Team” should re-examine and relax the qualifications for Snow Days, weighing the world’s absence of optimism and relief over a few centimeters of accumulation. To those in control of these decisions, consider the cheerfulness you can bring and recall the sentiment you once felt as a child. Remember that with climate change increasing the likelihood of unpredictable weather and BigBlueButton’s reliability only improving in the future, you are not only making a decision for this year but for the cultural extinction of Snow Days for generations to come. Generations who might never know why it’s so important to, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” or whose dreams would be strangers to “White Christmases” or “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”. 

But above all, please, please, please don’t let our stories of building giant snow forts in the middle of a would-be school day become as ludicrous as our parents’ tales of walking hundreds of miles uphill to the bus stop.