Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Snow joke

I made it. Work, that is. School was open; most of the students were there. And although a few complained that they didn't get a 'snow day' most didn't seem to mind. There was one boy on the train this morning moaning loudly, 'what's the point of snow if you don't get a day off school?' as if the sole purpose of winter weather was to let him lie in bed. I imagined him listening resentfully as the local radio station read out the names of the schools that were closed, cursing as it became clear his wasn't on the list.

I'd been listening to the same thing myself just yesterday. Although - not teaching on a Monday - I had no interest in the outcome. What did amuse and then annoy me was the number of callers 'phoning in to say how swift they thought the schools had been to close their doors, how work-shy the teachers all must be and how it would never have happened in their day. Well, maybe. But I bet when they trudged through ten foot snow-drifts in the good ol' days it was to a local school. What many people (conveniently) forget is that - thanks to twenty years of cuts - thousands of children are now forced to travel long distances by bus, even in towns and cities. And in many cases (certainly in rural Lincolnshire) it's the bus companies whose decisions determine school closures - not the teachers. But since when did the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?
While we're at it, why not make invidious comparisons with Scandinavian countries. I bet their schools don't close and the trains all run on time. But then given the amount of snow they get they'd have to, wouldn't they? Or else they might as well just hibernate for six months every year. After all, they get an awful lot of snow, much more than we do.
I must admit I actually quite like it. Not because it might get me an extra day off, but because it changes things. It's unusual; it makes things look and feel and sound completely different. Because it's unusual. Which is why no matter how accurate the weather forecast, we're never quite prepared.

Picture taken on the 11.53 from Sleaford!
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