Unbagging the Cats 1

Unbagging the Cats 1

Monday, December 5, 2011

Anatomy of a No-Day

These weathermen are driving me crazy!

First we're getting snow on Saturday night. Oops! No we're not.

Then we're getting snow Sunday night. Oops! No, we didn't.

This morning, all precipitation had moved out of the area, over the river, into Illinois. Highs would be around 37, then dropping after five o'clock.

The Pony and I set out to school. No worries. All clear. The Pony didn't even take his hoodie. He says it won't fit in his locker. Besides, he's dropped off at the door, and hops on the bus to disembark at the door to my building. I had a coat at school for duty, and a jacket in the car. We had given Genius the long arm of the blue, brushy scraper last week, when his truck was in the shop, and he had to drive the $1000 Caravan for two frosty mornings. But who cared? All precipitation was out of the area.

At seven p.m. the main hatchway caved in, he said "Fellas, it's been good t'know ya." Oops! Those are The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald lyrics. What I meant to say was, at nine thirty a.m., sleet started tap tap tapping at my classroom window. I could hear it, because it was my plan time. It kept up until after lunch, when wet snow and freezing rain poured down. I found that out, because a student shouted, "Hey! Look! It's snowing!" Don't think I fell for that trick. I told him, "Not gonna make me look," and went on with the lesson. At an opportune moment, I surreptitiously stole a look, and he was right!

The kids were all hopped up on we're-gonna-get-out-early-adrenaline. Which is kind of like feeding them a full-moon, early-out, spirit-week-dress-up-day, storm-rollin'-in giant burrito encased in a sugary tortilla, served with a forty-four ounce energy drink.

By sixth hour, even the most Pollyanna-ish students had resigned themselves to completing the school day. In fact, when the fire alarm sounded and the magnet-held corridor doors slammed shut to hermetically seal in the deadly flames...my students sat. Not a one moved a muscle. I, of course, jumped up and ran (make that walked at a faster than normal shuffle) to the door, cajoling them with, "That's a fire, you know. We need to exit the side door toward the tech building." And one young lady remarked, "I really don't want to go outside right now." Not in an insolent manner. But matter-of-factly. Because the snowy rain was pouring down in feathery buckets. Lucky for us, it was another false alarm. We had one last week, and another after hours. The all-clear was given within sixty seconds. But I fear that this ringing "wolf" will make us lackadaisical in the face of a true emergency.

When the day mercifully ended, I hot-footed it out to the parking lot to supervise. Lucky for me, the lot was not yet frozen, so I was not called on to push cars up the incline to the road. That's usually what happens to the gentleman teachers.

A thoughtful young man tipped me off that the steps to the parking lot were frozen. Good thing, because you could totally not see that clear glaze of ice. I spouted off, "Careful! The steps are icy! Careful! Watch out!" I felt like Elaine saving movie seats, warning, "Taken! Don't come over here! These are taken! TAKEN!" My plan worked swimmingly until a friendly lad stopped to show me that the grassy accumulation was excellent for snowballs. In my distraction, I let a young lady, Hermione of Harry Potter fame at the Halloween dance, get all the way to the top step. And as I uttered the word "icy", she slipped on her heel, but regained her balance by flailing her arms, and lived to step down the other icy steps. But not without berating me for almost letting her fall. Like I am in charge of salting the perimeter of the campus in the event of inclement weather. Lucky for me, she didn't have her wand with her.

Duty over, I reported the frozen terrain, and rounded up The Pony for our journey homeward. Easier said than done. Because the precipitation that had moved out of the area this morning had frozen my doors shut, and my windshield and rear window wipers to the glass, and coated the running boards with solid ice. The Pony made that discovery when he tried to load himself into the car. I, on the other hand, bypassed that icy step, and awkwardly hoisted myself into the pilot's seat of my large SUV.

Then commenced the snow-scraping charade. I made The Pony put my jacket on his petite frame, and gave him an umbrella with a bent metal tip to use for clearing ice and snow from all windows. Let's just say that it was an exercise in futility. With windows clear enough for two-lane blacktop, we set out on our thirty-minute drive home. Bridges were snow/sleet/ice covered. Hick barely made it off the highway to a back road before becoming ensconced in a traffic jam due to black ice on a bridge. Genius saw a car down an embankment at another bridge on his way home at three o'clock.

I think the students were onto something there with that snow-day mentality.



Sioux said...

Does that mean that you're having a snow day today (Tuesday)?

Snow day...the most heavenly day, when it comes to teachers. They're a gift from the gods.

When the weather folks say, "We're lucky, it missed us," I shriek. Good fortune would entail an icy storm that hits late Sunday night, giving us a three-day weekend. Or a foot or so of snow on Thursday night. THAT'S luck.

Val Thevictorian said...

Well, I was ever the optimist in this case. I dutifully watched the meteorologists (those rapscallions) on all three channels. I looked outside every couple of hours as I awoke through the night. I took both phones with me to set by the shower. But it was another no-day. Oh, we had the flurries again. But no satisfaction in the early-out department.