It all started one week ago. I checked Weather.com late on Sunday night to see if I needed to wear a scarf, or instead go for the scarf and gloves combo for my drive to work the following morning. It was then when I saw it – an eye-opening, mouth-watering prediction on the 5 day forecast: a snow storm on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. It was too good to be true – and plus, it was way to far away to get excited about…
I mentioned the prospect on Monday to a few co-workers who hadn’t heard anything about the forecast over the weekend. By Tuesday midday, a good amount of the staff were clicking refresh on the teacher’s room computers to see whether the meteorologists were calling for 5-7 or 8-11 inches. Either way, it was on a lot of people’s minds throughout the day.
As the day progressed, the weather reports came in with more certainty and even more outrageous claims. By the end of the day, a majority of new reports called for a “Severe Storm Warning”, with a prediction of 8-12 inches of snow in most parts of the city.
During our seventh period class (which runs about a half an hour later than the other Middle School in our building) the school speaker system from the other school made a a loud announcement – “Remember kids, check the weather reports and the DOE webpage to see if there is school tomorrow. As you know, there is going to be a big storm”. It was something along those lines, and it didn’t help my case as I continued to blatantly lie to each student who came up to me and ask me if I thought there was going to be school the next day. The other students (especially the older ones) had made up their minds that it was going to be a snow day for them regardless of what the schools said.
Let’s cut to the chase. That night, the snow started gracefully falling at around 9 PM. It picked up steam at about 11. It was one of my roomies Birthday’s and we had a few drinks, kicked up our collective feet, and slowly but surely put all our proverbial chips in the middle of the proverbial poker table. We were daring our Mayor Michael Bloomberg to not cancel school with a snowfall that we were sure was going to continue pouring down through the morning commute…
I had stayed up until two AM and was so certain of an incredible snow day to come. It was going to be filled with snow-ball-fights, hot chocolate, DVDs, snuggies, and all other great things you can associate with not having to work. I rolled over and check the Education Department’s website at about 5:30. A big sign was posted, “School is open.” I think my dazed self refused to believe it and fell back to sleep. At 6:30 my other roommate sends me two consecutive texts that sum up the day to come, “The shovel is under the steps”…”Expletive Bloomberg”.
A perfect storm of a mayor wanting to send a message to the city, a million new snowplows that were non-existent a few weeks prior, and a bunch of overpaid and over-exaggerating weather forecasters came together to create a nightmare for thousands of teachers that morning.
Out of just under 300 students enrolled in our four grades, 114 were absent. Most classes watched movies or played games. With so many students missing, it just doesn’t make sense trying to play catch up the next day with all of the students that were missing. In the entire city, about half of the million students made it to school. My personal opinions about the decision to cancel school aside, my week was turned upside-down. I passed out insanely hard for about three hours when I came back home Wednesday night (I was working on a semi-hangover and three hours of sleep). Thursday night I passed out at 10ish. My internal clock was a mess for the rest of the week and has only been returned due to a much needed three day weekend for good ol’ MLK Jr’s Birthday.
In the end, the feeling of being out of my routine, mixed with such heavy disappointment made last week possibly the weirdest week of the year. Maybe we’ll get redemption if the snow-gods can press the blizzard button on full blast this time.