Building the Perfect Snow Wombat

I can’t confirm it quite yet, but looking out my South Valley window this morning I’m estimating that today’s two hour delay for APS schools is the single most laughable delay in my 13 or so years of teaching in Burque. Confirmation will have to wait until I make the treacherous drive from my almost snow-free driveway to what I can only guess will be a tangled mess of snow, smashed vehicles and blood running down gutters at the intersection of Lomas and Girard.

I’m not a native, and I have taught only 13 or so years, but the only competition to today’s silly day was a morning about eight years ago when I drove from the North Valley to a school up near Lomas and Wyoming at 10:00 A.M. and the only record of any precipitation whatsoever was the occasional strip of scant white in the shady spots.

Of course, mentioning the ridiculosity of today’s two hour delay is considered bad form by those throughout the K-12 community. Being the socially inept person that I am, I’m quite certain that I will state my view concerning the delay, a view which will be met with scoffing outrage by student and teacher alike.

“But it got us out of school for two hours, so shut up about it.”

That’s the company line both for our educational indentured servants and their teaching masters. Saying anything like, “Man, I wish we didn’t have a delay” is looked upon as if the offender said “Man, I wish I could eat light bulbs and Reynold’s wrap for lunch today”.

And personally, I wouldn’t mind having the delay if:

  1. We really had a snowstorm and could walk/play around in it this morning. Instead I’m bloggin’, because all the snow in the SV today wouldn’t make a snowperson any bigger than a snow wombat. A baby snow wombat.
  2. I didn’t know that an “abbreviated day” (one of my favorite strange school terms) means: 1) show up two hours late; 2) talk about the snow for two hours; 3) scoff-at and ostracize Scot for bringing up the fact we shouldn’t have had a snowday; 4) watch kids pathetically try to make snowballs out of nothing but white-colored dirt during lunch; 5) watch other kids go to the nurse’s office after being hit with small rocks that were pathetically incorporated into the pathetic snow-lacking snowballs; 6) talk about the snow some more until the bell.

Some of you may think that someone who would complain about this morning’s “snowstorm” is just a bitter, cynical old geezer who has lost all joy in life. Au contraire my little wombat friend. I’m the guy who spent hours on Tuesday night looking at Colorado highway webcam shots of a real snowstorm (you can ask my wife…she laughed at me the entire time). I’m the same guy who watched part of my first Monday Night Football telecast this year a few days back simply because it was snowing in Seattle and I love “snow football”.

I love snow football. I love snow. The only problem is that in Burque proper we most frequently don’t get snow, just a frustrating dusting or quick-melting blanket that doesn’t last more than a few hours. And today I get to talk about this frustrating condition for five hours with students and teachers all jacked up because of a two hour delay, as if the two hours is time spared from some sort of Guantanamo Bay. As if the two hours is two fewer hours of waterboarding or something.

There have been occasions in my Burque teaching past where it has snowed and we haven’t had a delay of any kind. On those days I’ve heard via media and personal contact from some parents freaking out with concern about the dangers of slushy streets and vaguely snow-covered medians. I know APS gets calls from some of these parents and that instituting a delay is easier than dealing with these rabid snowophobes. At the same time, what sort of dedication to education is evidenced by having a two-hour delay on a day like today? What does it say about our collective will to make schools professional places of “continuous learning”? How can we expect the kids to care, if we’re just as giddy with a two-hour delay as they are?

Oh shut up, Scot and enjoy the snow. And you better get ready for school, it’s already 9:10 and you have to be there by 10:30. Get to work at 10:30, get off work at 3:00. Who could possibly complain about that?


One thought on “Building the Perfect Snow Wombat

  1. I just moved to ABQ from Chicago about six months ago. I have to say, I don’t know what was more shocking up here on the NW side. The slight dusting of snow on the ground (wasn’t expecting to see any), or the subsequent two hour delay of APS. Odd Trivia: In my area of the ‘burbs in Chicago, the schools hadn’t had a snow day or delay in six years despite six inches of snow on the ground during many crisp winter mornings. Ironic? Probably. At least my kids were happy…they finally got their “snow delay”…

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