I used to wish for snow days. When I was in third grade, there was nothing better than to wake up to a morning of fresh snow and my alarm snoozing as deeply as I was. I’d go downstairs for a leisurely breakfast at the (perceivably late) time of 7:30. And since the homework load was practically nonexistent, I could spend my day watching plotless Food Network shows, something usually forbidden on schooldays.
As I rapidly progressed through Lower School, however, I found myself more and more ambivalent about the prospect of a day off. Of course it was always nice to get a reprieve on a quiz, or an unexpected extension on a project, but as these were remarkably few I found myself questioning my membership in the cult of Lazy Days. I was by no means your school-loving, sloth-is-one-of-the-seven-deadly-sins little fourth grader, but nor was I culturally experienced enough to have an endless supply of visual or audio entertainment. I also happen to have the type of parents who think that snow days are good for learning and relish writing out endless multiplication tables for my brother and me.
The winters of fifth and sixth grade were brutal, and not for the amount of precipitation experienced. While bitterly cold, almost no snow fell. This obviously made snow days seem as though they would be incredibly enjoyable, since I hadn’t experienced one in two years. And now this winter. With 8 and counting snow days under our belt at last count, both teachers and students become frustrated and irritable. The fact that three of them have affected the seventh-grade midterm, project schedule and canceled the ski trip only multiplies my dislike of snow days. The only profit I get from them, as far as I can see, is watching the latest episode of “Downton Abbey” on our DVR instead of having to wait until Friday due to homework constraints. And if we have two a week, even that fringe benefit disappears!
I am one of those freaks who needs structure in their lives. I can only enjoy the first half of winter break before I begin to feel that I should actually be doing something. Summer vacation is like to Purgatory for me unless I have a constant supply of new books and something to do during the day (though the idea of getting a job repulses me. How ironic.)
Though the theory of snow days is fantastic, the reality can be considerably less so. You’re torn between taking a shower and getting up from the incredibly comfortable sofa. You’re torn between reading your favorite old book or trying (and sometimes failing) to dig into a new one. You’re torn between extra study time and developing a nerd complex. You’re torn (or at least I am) between “Four Weddings” and “Say Yes to the Dress”. The horrors! So before you flush that ice cube down the toilet and sleep with your pajamas inside out (both methods have worked in the past), consider how much snow days enhance your quality of life for 12 hours. The only trouble with that is, they’re usually found wanting.