Thursday, February 28, 2008

That snow day was teh l4m3

I enjoyed our snow day in a sense because I got a lot of teaching-related things done that I otherwise would have put off until spring break, and now every paper topic my students will need this semester has been written.

But seriously, it was the Lamest. Snow. Day. Ever. It was hardly necessary to call it in the morning. It took me and Bullock less than 45 minutes to shovel our driveway and walks, and even though it was still coming down, it only created a dusting. I can kind of understand if they needed us out of the way in order to plow the parking lots (most of our lots are uncovered), but I really don't get why they need the *whole* morning or why they then canceled the afternoon and evening classes. That was really lame, because by then the main road were all clear and dry. I realize some of my students come from small towns around here, but I would've understood and excused them if they missed a class.

Anyone from someplace like Buffalo, where they get real snow, would've laughed at this "snow day." I think our president is strangely obsessed with safety. He thinks it's his mission -- and therefore the university's mission -- to keep people safe and healthy, and that's all that matters. I think that's the real reason why we closed. We've had three snow days since he came on as president, and none in the three years I was here prior to that.

Anyway, I now have to figure out a way to catch my classes up, and poor Victoria, because of earlier snow in which they canceled evening classes, has had 2 out of 15 once-a-week seminar meetings canceled.

Maybe the risk of a car accident isn't worth going to class for, but maybe the president should let individuals make those choices instead of making them for us.


Sapience said...

My large, public R1 university had the policy of issuing warnings, but not closing campus and leaving it to the discretion of individuals to choose whether to come in.

Then, we had three grad students die in two years in car accidents on warning days. As you might guess, the university cancels class a lot more regularly these days. The problem is that grad student culture does not allow grad students to make the choice to come in or not: you do not miss class. Ever. Unless you are in the hospital--perhaps from a car crash?

jo(e) said...

Wow. We never get snow days.

Well, we got one once, back in March of 1993 when we got 4 feet of snow in 24 hours.

jo(e) said...

(So yeah, I am agreeing that anyone from upstate New York would laugh at your snow day.)

Steve Muhlberger said...

It might be interesting to find out where your president is from originally.

Our policy is simple. If the city buses can't get up the big hill, it's a snow day.

Once, on a day I didn't have to go in, the U made the mistake of sending people home early. All the drivers went to their cars, started them, and sat in them for more than an hour -- in some cases much more -- because of the resulting gridlock.

They could have just cancelled the evening classes and people would have had no more trouble than they did.

Clio Bluestocking said...

Oh, yeah, I know what you are talking about with the wimpy snow days. We don't simply have "snow days" here, we also have "inclement weather days." Last week, there was some sleet in the morning, so the school closed for the whole day. Two years ago, I lived in a place where they didn't close work when a blizzard hit town. Those people would have laughed themselves silly at us.

Dr. Virago said...

Sapience -- you make a really good point. Though I have to say my students miss class all. the. time. Still, a very good point in general.

Joe -- Thanks for the confirmation from someone from Snowstorm City! :)

Steve -- he's from around here!! But he lives in the country, so maybe his rule of thumb is if *he* can't make, then it's a snow day. Because, you know, the university just can't go on without him! :)

Clio - Your comment reminds me of my years in SoCal where any little drizzle launched the news stations into STORMWATCH!!! mode.