Happy Snow Day! I live in Vancouver, Washington which is sometimes considered as part of the Portland-Metro area. Something that I’ve learned in my seven years of residence in this fair city is that a tiny bit of snow makes the entire region shut down. I grew up where we got snow every winter, usually around a couple of feet or so. Sometimes we got more (6 feet was the record in my lifetime); sometimes we didn’t get snow at all. However, snow didn’t paralyze the entire community. People know how to drive in the snow in my hometown. Very few people know how to drive in the snow around here. Long story short, we’ve had a dusting of snow. Seriously, I can still count individual snow flakes lying on the ground. And school has been canceled. Full disclosure, I live in Vancouver, and Vancouver School District is open today. I’m sure that the upper elevations in Battle Ground where I work has some decent snow. I’m currently watching news reports of “Arctic Blast 08.” My cat, Baxter, LOVES these kinds of days because he likes to attack the ticker running along the bottom of the screen. He’s a giant cat, so he has not problem standing up on his hind legs to bat at the screen with both paws. He has worn himself out and is sleeping next to me on the couch.
I’m actually kind of glad. I brought home some work to do just incase we didn’t have school today. Plus while I generally like my students, two consecutive days of late start makes them exhausting and nearly unbearable. I have to remind myself that they don’t get snow very often, so it’s a big deal to them. Whenever we get snow around here, and the kids are confident that the two inches accumulated on the ground means that they will be sent home early (for the record, that has never happened in my 7 years in the district), it makes me have one of those “back in my day…” moments.
So, here is my own winter weather tale:
My sophomore year of high school, I had to walk to school because my dad was at an outage with the truck. My dad was branch manager for the White Salmon branch of Klickitat County PUD, so when the weather was nasty, he was usually at work coordinating the restoration of power to the outlying areas. We hadn’t heard of any closures, so I got ready to walk to school in about a foot of snow. The walk wasn’t that far, a little less than a mile and a half, and one that I had done since I was in the 5th grade. The walk to school took me up the road to the top of Strawberry Mountain (a very deceiving name—a hill at best), then down through an orchard to the school. I got all bundled up and headed out to school only to find the doors to the high school locked. I walked around to the front entrance which was open, and saw a sign that said “School is 2 Hours Late.” I decided to go ahead and walk the mile and half back home instead of sitting around at the cold school for two hours. After enjoying some hot chocolate, I trudged back to school. Another sign greeted me: “School is Canceled.” Crap. By the time I made my fourth trek through the orchard it had snowed another few inches. My mom just laughed at me when I got back home. She told me that she had heard on the radio that school had been canceled about 20 minutes after I left home the second time. I thought the whole thing was kind of funny as well, though I was disappointed that I didn’t get to sleep in on the snow day. I believe these kinds of experiences are filed under “Character Building.”
8 years ago