While there's already an ugly side to a snow day (i.e. a shorter Easter break), I think we'd all be lying if we said a day off in late February wasn't perfect timing. There's still over a month until Spring so anything to break up the winter drag is a positive thing. Freezing rain was pretty consistent today and while it eventually stopped, I'm glad I didn't have to leave the house until noon. It looks like we'll be back to work tomorrow, but at least it's on the back of a three day weekend.
One thing that's been funny about the whole situation is the complaining I see in social media (and social real-life). College students complain about not getting a delay/cancelation and how high school students "have it easy". Others say that their universities are "the worst" (and other more colorful expressions) for not giving them time off. Even non-teacher friends remark how, in the "real world", if it's cold or snowy, the world moves on and people still have to go to work. Even fellow teachers use the "real world" excuse when trying to enforce arbitrary rules like strict deadlines for papers (if it's not in by midnight, it's a zero), or participation points in class (if you don't have a pencil, you're losing points).
There's a little bit of truth there...but in reality, there's a simple answer to their complaints: Just Don't Go. If you think it's literally too cold to go to your college class (a two minute walk down a paved a shoveled sidewalk), then don't go. If you think it's too snowy and bitter to run to the store and buy groceries, then don't do it. If you think that getting to work today will be too dangerous...then by all means, stay home. Will there be consequences to these actions? (i.e. a lower grade, no food in the house, less money/sick days) Sure. Who knows, in some situations you might get away with a freebee. In truth, the real world does stop when it's cold. People stay home. People don't venture out if they don't have to. Retailers call people off because they don't need a big staff that day. Being an adult in the "real world" doesn't mean you have to be tough and brave merciless pain in order to live...it means you get to make choices. You can decide if the weather is bad enough to warrant staying in. You can choose if you're going to turn something on-time (and terrible) or late (and quality). Often times, the latter is the better choice. (And typically, if you don't have a pencil, you can just ask to borrow one. Most adults don't carry pencils with them.)
You get to weigh the pros and cons, make informed decisions, and live with the choices. The reason school gets delayed or cancelled isn't really because high school students or teachers aren't tough enough, it's so six-year olds, who have no right, nor utility to decide if they'll stay home or not, won't be compelled to stand outside in dangerous temperatures, or slippery conditions, waiting for a bus. As the adults out there in college and the "real world, if you really, truly think you can't handle the cold, then stay home. If, however, you realize it's not that bad...stop picking on first graders and go to class/work/lunch. I'm sure the heat will be working just fine when you get there.