There used to be a time when I looked forward to the prospect of snow.
That time probably ended after finishing college, because I still remember during my freshman year the night we got a decent snowfall. It was a Thursday, and it was enough white stuff to draw hundreds of students (myself included) to the university’s quad for snowball fights and snowman building, while the next day’s classes were canceled.
But the allure of it seems to diminish, if not outright disappear, once you have real responsibilities — a full-time job, the need to go out and obtain groceries since you’re not living in a dormitory with eateries downstairs, etc.
And perhaps adults such as myself can get a little bit of enjoyment out of one day of snow, as hopefully one day can have only a small effect on one’s daily life and routine. But when you start multiplying that one day, and those additional days are weekdays, then things start getting out of hand.
Here in Paulding County, as well as metro Atlanta and perhaps even the South as a whole, it didn’t take long for things to reach that point. If you’ve been hibernating the past week, or you’ve been luckily enjoying the last few days in a warmer climate, you’ve missed a lot.
School make-up days: All but inevitable?
Arguably the biggest story this week was news that students and staff in Paulding County Schools to make up the . As Paulding Superintendent Cliff Cole , the move was a consequence of several factors — an already shortened school year due to budget constraints, the need for adequate time to instruct students before high-stakes standardized tests, a desire to not let school employees lose several days of pay, and the aim of impacting the fewest family trips scheduled during the system’s off days, among other reasons.
Further putting the district in that rock-and-a-hard-place situation is state law that requires a minimum amount of student “seat time” in classrooms, as well as the directive to meet the federal No Child Left Behind act by meeting Adequate Yearly Progress.
Did the district have any better options? Hard to say. But one has to wonder if this scenario and that of other systems will lead lawmakers to change requirements regarding the length of the school year and how long students must be in class. Or perhaps a move of state testing days closer to the end of the school year.
Yes, we call this a “Snowpocalypse”
I’m sure anyone who knows at least one person from the Northeast has heard their criticism about our opinions on this week’s snow:
“You call this ‘Snowpocalypse’? ‘Snowpocalypse was the [insert ungodly amount of snow here] we had last year in [northern city]…”
Yes, we know that it snows much more up there, and that you’re probably used to that much winter weather. Guess what? We’re not.
Newsflash: It doesn’t snow down here as often, and when it does, it’s usually nowhere near what the weather brings up there. Therefore, some of us don’t know how to fully prepare for it, nor have we invested in numerous precautions in case of a blizzard or anything remotely close — there’s almost no need to.
Some have complained about the lack of equipment, manpower, response time or efforts of some metro Atlanta government entities to clear the roads. Maybe some of those critics have a point.
But if some of those factors were reversed — say a city or county buys 10 snowplows before the winter, but no significant snow falls during the entirety of the season — then someone’s going to argue that too much tax money went into becoming overprepared. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.
As for local roads, I didn’t attempt to drive until Tuesday, and until Friday, the only times I drove were in the daytime. I only went on a few main roads, but they seemed as clear as they could be, thanks in large part, I believe, to city and county crews.
Having bought my needed groceries for the week last Friday, I didn’t have the need to brave the cold to head to the store for any provisions, but had that need arisen, I’m glad the roads were fairly passable by that third weekday, and I’m sure many Paulding residents who bought groceries that day were, too.
If it promises not to overstay its welcome, I might look forward to the return of snow. But if it wants to do anything like we saw this week, then I’ll be seeking warmer climates, because I’m just too old for it now.