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small talk about the weather
December 04, 2002, 11:11 pm

I know I may sometimes complain about my job or be downright whiny when discussing my career choices, but there is one perk that teaching has that no other job can match: the exquisite promise of a snow day.

Tonight, thousands of Marylanders pilfer Giant's (supermarket) bread, milk, and toilet paper like it's the last they'll see for decades. My students reiterated time and time again today that their paper will not be due tomorrow, but Friday. I found myself checking weatherchannel.com every opportunity today at work, just to be sure that the snow was still headed our way.

You see, Maryland has a bit of a climate crisis.

There are four seasons here, but they all have one thing in common: unpredictability. Many times have we bunkered ourselves down for a hurricane that never hit or a blizzard that justmissedusbythismuch. Many evenings I have spent debating whether or not to do my homework because there was this chance that we may not have snow; I found that the inverse probability was always true (one egregious example: college presentation, didn't prepare because I had spent all night sledding in the 6" drifts...we didn't even have a two hour delay!).

The thing is: we should be used to this by now. Just as we should be used to snow period, but this state SHUTS down if there's a flurry; last winter was extremely mild (it only snowed ONE DAY and it was a SATURDAY...talk about winning 10 cents in the lottery), and this summer was VERY harsh.

Tonight, I'm sniffing the air. It smells like snow. I had my 1st period class perform a "snow dance" that my 8th grade English teacher (the inspiration for my life track, basically...her, not the snow dance) taught us one January day. I am biting my nails that Mrs. Sponheimer's guaranteed snow ritual will not fail as it never has before.

I have a stack of papers on the kitchen counter that sits up to 10" high, and they're waiting, silently, for me to coax them out of the Target bag and grade them. They know...I'm not touching them tonight. I know...I may regret that decision in the morning.

Montgomery county schools are off tomorrow, and they have nary a flake there yet.

So, I'll stay up and watch the news, examine the scroll bar at the bottom with hawk-eyes, waiting to see "Anne Arundel" creep its way across.

It's been a weird week, but I'll talk later about power failures for 2 hours at my school and guidance conferences where a parent dropped the F-bomb (much to the horror of her son, I assure you).

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

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