“I never want to see a day, That’s over forty degrees, I’d rather have it thirty, Twenty, ten, five and let it freeze.”
-FM Static, “Snow Miser”
Weather plays a significant role in the daily morning information provided to Americans. Meteorologists (fancy term for weather chick) explain what’s happening around your area every five minutes or so, and still somehow don’t get it right in the end.
It’s the topic of conversation in the gym locker room, the first hour break at the office after people filter in late, and amongst the small talk with your local barista since that’s what they are dying to hear about 100 times a morning as they space out thinking about when their career will be more satisfactory.
Different areas of the nation are exposed to more violent storms and wintery weather than others; the Southeast recently suffered from some problematic ice storms causing drivers to freak out during this unheard of experience, the Northeast is losing power again (what’s new?), the regular North has been frozen for centuries (watch out for the “White Walkers”), and the Southwest is once again struggling to understand why it snows in specific regions that are 4,900 feet above sea level in the middle of a mountain range during Winter.
I was visiting my little cousins in Edwards, CO a couple weekends ago and there was easily over two feet of snow on the roads, and yet they still had to attend school. Good. When I was living in Southbury, CT there was around two feet of snow on the hood of my car that I had to shovel off and scratch my paint because work and school still wasn’t cancelled or on a delay. Good. Other times I was late because we had to wait for the plow; and there were times that I even had to stay home, but still remote in. Work and school are always on in these areas because they have to save their allotted snow days for real problems.
Allotted snow days? Wait? Winter break, Spring break, holidays, in-services, and Summer break aren’t enough time off for the kids? It’s very difficult to find an exact number of which counties in America offer what amount of days off, but let’s say 7-14 as a swing average depending on the region. However, I’m going to focus on three random cities (to you, kind of).
Average annual snowfall in Edwards, CO: 46.7” (Weather, 2014)
Average annual snowfall in Southbury, CT: 43.3” (Weather, 2014)
Average annual snowfall in Albuquerque, NM: 9.6” (Weather, 2014)
I saw more than 9.6” in the aforementioned gym locker room this morning. Hey-o! As many people have preached over the years, all children are created equal; they probably said, “all men are created equal,” but we live in a very sensitive society now where political correctness is the basis of all life and people get bent out of shape about an assumption concerning something that isn’t important.
However, why does somewhere like Albuquerque have allotted days off equal to regions that actually need them?
There are usually three types of alerts: Two-Hour Delays, closures, and early dismissals. Sure the temperature raises five degrees in two hours, and the plows have time to clear the roads as best they can, but going from 13-18 degrees doesn’t necessarily melt ice. However, I didn’t pay much attention in science class, maybe if I had a certain amount of extra days to absorb the information I probably could have a better formula for you.
Yes, it gets very cold in the desert, and yes it sometimes snows, but by the time the sun comes out, Albuquerque residents are back to “sweatshirt” instead of “jacket” weather. The main issue is black ice, but given the territory and the population; it’s more of a user error that there are delays rather than actual weather. Let’s have an example, shall we?
If a person has a four-wheel drive car that isn’t lowered and doesn’t have 20’s on it then that person should be more than capable to drive in the snow. However, image is more important than safety to some.
Now that schools offer their delays, students get a vacation day essentially, but it’s unfair and inconvenient because offices don’t close which throws the parents off schedule, especially if they have an hourly occupation. Even on a delay, their day is ruined.
On the other hand, if the weather is so bad to drive, why do you see so many people on the road? This isn’t a day off. The kids should be doing their homework, and parents should be working from home. What is this laziness teaching our kids? Let’s take a look at the State of New Mexico.
-It’s the third worst state for education according to the national average (Frolich, 2014).
-In 2013, middle school students were among the least proficient in math and reading based on national test scores (Frolich, 2014).
-The high school graduation rate is 59.4%; the worst in America (Frolich, 2014).
The top 10 educated states include Colorado, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Massachusetts (Frolich). Hmm? Colorado and the Northeast. Interesting.
The bottom 10 focused on the Southeast, including South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (Frolich). Hmm? All states that aren’t accustomed to snow or driving in winter conditions, but still get days off. Interesting.
Maybe we should start giving the kids assignments during these winter delays and closures. An email to the parents saying that this is what they need to study or research. You know, we do have that technology now.
However, people are sledding down the slope of laziness and entitlement and skidding off the road towards a completed education. I overheard a conversation with a man on his cell phone while at the gym as his son was claiming he was sick. He assumed his son was faking because he says he’s sick every week. He told his son that he feels like crap, and he doesn’t want to go to work, but he still has to do it; so the boy must suffer as well. It was a strange approach, but an interesting one. If the kid doesn’t go to school then he will never be able to get a job he hates.
Ironically, I have the day off today because of Presidents Day. I would rather be at work. Ha! Ahh, life.
Frolich, T. (2014). Retrieved from http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/01/14/states-with-the-best-and-worst-schools-2/5/ on February 14, 2014
Weather DB (2014). Retrieved from http://average-snowfall.weatherdb.com/ on February 14, 2014