When You're Given a Snow Day, Take It.

If you live in any of the locations represented above, I'm sorry.  (Even though I'm not sure how to pronounce "cold" with a Minnesota accent, I'm especially looking at you, Minneapolis.  You too, Chicago.  Brutal.)  As a central Pennsylvanian, I feel the effects of the polar vortex, too.

Yesterday when the chill was at its worst, the university where I teach cancelled classes.  If you ask any educator, regardless of what level they teach, it's often harder to miss a day of classes than to go in.  When classes are cancelled, you can't always neatly bump everything back one day.  Instead, you often have to reshuffle the entire deck. 

That was the case for me yesterday.  When you're a kid, a snow day is a snow day -- no strings attached.  When you're an adult, you're expected to be adult-like.  So even though my inner snow-day child wanted to lie on the couch and watch back-to-back episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I pulled out my binders and emailed three classes with instructions.  We'd delay the second homework assignment. We'd reschedule the evening speaking contest to a subsequent week.  We'd shuffle office hours.  We'd work some kind of accordion magic to shrink the content into a smaller framework.

Granted, it's a bit inconvenient.  (Moving a speaking contest with 450 attendees is a logistical headache, after all.)  But I adhere to this philosophy:
When you're given a snow day, take it.
Take the snow day!  When you're shaking your head as you work to revise your syllabus course schedule, still take the snow day!  Enjoy being home!  Count it all joy that you're safe, warm, and still wearing your pajamas.  Be grateful that you're able to do laundry while you're grading.  Encourage yourself that, eventually, the confused students who didn't read the instructions you emailed will stop emailing you to ask, "What are our instructions?"

Don't take the bait and get irritated.  Don't bemoan a gift, even if it's wrapped with minor inconvenience and tied with a ribbon of extra logistical work.

No, when you're given a snow day, take it.

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