Don't be alarmed. We're still enjoying the residual warmth and blue skies - for the most part - of an extended Indian Summer. I caught this snap during one of almost a dozen so-called "Snow Days" we suffered through last school year. So much so that the last day of school was June 25.
Our part of the country - the DC area and surrounding suburbs - suffers from an unusual, and sometimes just plain odd, meteorological pattern. We endure hurricanes - two days of "rain days" for Hurricane Sandy in 2013 - a tornado here and there, and the occasional earthquake. Then again, it's not unusual for the skies to brighten during the first week of January - enticing Mr. Fairway out to the links for three or four days of golf. In shorts, no less,.
But when it snows, we're basically incapacitated. In recent years we've suffered the Snowpocalypses of 2010 and 2011, followed by a 2012-2013 school year that hit us hard - in the form of violent precipitation from Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and the aforementioned Sandy, followed by a quarter of an inch of precipitation of the frozen variety sometime in March. So you can imagine that the Powers That Be were caught with their proverbial pants down when it really snowed last year. Then snowed. Then snowed some more.
Our school board, after years of inaction - they often react to crisis with quite a forceful dose of bureaucratic constipation - decided to do something to thwart Mother Nature this year. They extended the school day for elementary students on Mondays (little kids have only been going half days on Mondays for decades), freeing up more time across the board. So much free time that we now have the built-in snow/rain days our district needs to survive, plus an additional week off for Winter Break and - wait for it - six additional Teacher Work Days.
Oh, for joy! Our first TWD for this school year is tomorrow. While my cherubs are abed, sleeping the sleep of teenagers unburdened by the concerns of others, I will report to school at 7:30 for a fun-filled day of insipid inservices. In fact, I have eight sessions to choose from. Fortunately, I'm only required to attend five of these mind-numbing exercises in futility, but the extra so-called "professional development" - or PD, as the education experts call it - is there if I crave to stick blistering hot knitting needles in my eyes for another couple of hours or so.