Windham Life and Times – February 5, 2021

Tell Me It Isn’t So…Remote Learning Ends the Snow Day?

So I’ve heard a rumor about something that tears at my heart, and clouds my mind with sadness and depression, because of its colossal awfulness! Is it really true that the utter joy of contemplating the Snow-Day has come to an end; destroyed by the ability to learn remotely. SAY IT ISN’T SO! What kind of evil people, would conspire to take away the Snow-Day from the children of New England.

    This is what it says on WindhamSD.org: “The Windham School District will be implementing virtual learning days in place of delays and/or cancellations due to inclement weather (or any other reason schools may be closed). The Superintendent will make the decision to revert to a virtual learning day and communicate to all parents via SchoolMessenger, social media (Facebook and Twitter), and local new stations once the decision is made.” That’s pithy way of describing your soul crushing order, Mr. Superintendent. This is worse than having to write: “I will not throw snowballs” a hundred times on a chalk board. Which I never had to do by the way. “K-2 Full Remote Only Students will continue with their regular daily learning remotely via live zoom sessions as they already do. Pre-K-2 In-Person Students will be provided with virtual learning packets to receive credit for the school day. 3-12 Students will be reminded to bring home their 1:1 device and will continue their regular daily schedule remotely via live zoom sessions.” Ugh! This is the very reason I’m a Luddite. (…a person opposed to new technology or ways of working.) You see what technology brings in its wake…nothing but sadness for the Children! Do you know how much I learned being free during a Snow-Day? A lot! Stuff I could never have learned in a class room or in front of a horrid screen.

    Seriously, is nothing sacred anymore? A Snow-Day is a right of passage. Its also a child’s human right. How can a child ever grow up normally, without the possibility of those beautiful, white, ice crystals setting the world right and the kids free; from books, schools and teacher rules! The whimsical chance of getting out of homework or an exam. “Virtual Learning Packets,” Mr. Superintendent, Let the Children Play!

    And speaking of snowflakes. Did you see the guy in New York who has taken the highest resolution photographs of snow flakes yet? His name is Nathan Myhrold and he has developed a camera that captures snowflakes at a microscopic level never seen before. They’re gorgeous and they can’t be seen while doing no stinking remote learning in front of a screen. You have to catch them on your tongue. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/these-are-highest-resolution-photos-ever-taken-snowflakes-180976710/

Snow-Day

By Billy Collins

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,   
its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,   
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost   
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,   
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   
and I will shake a laden branch
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,   
the Ding-Dong School, closed.
the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,   
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School   
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,   
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,   
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,   
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down

Snow-Day 

In the winter it’s every kids dream,
As snowflakes begin to appear,
That suddenly there’ll be a blizzard,
And they’ll cancel school for the year.

Though most kids are willing to settle,
And I am inclined to agree,
They could merely close school for one day –
One day off would be just fine with me.

A day free from all forms of homework,
A day without science or math,
When you leave all your schoolbooks at home
And run out the door with a laugh.

A day full of sledding and cocoa,
And snowmen who wear dad’s old clothes,
No writing out boring equations
After lunch when you’d rather just doze.

A snow day’s a day meant for lounging,
Where idleness isn’t condemned,
A day where you sleep in till lunchtime,
A day that you don’t want to end.

And if you are truly quite lucky,
The snow will continue its flight,
And you’ll spend the afternoon hoping
The next day will be just as white.

~ Barbara Vance

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