Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Higher Thinking Skills...and math

I am desperately trying to come up with stuff to think about. Anything. I just need to not be focusing on the fact that I still have a week and a half of school through which to slog.

Maine has winter weather. Hence, school districts come up with ways to deal with the this bit of meteorological business. We have to be open for a certain number of days no matter what. How that is managed generally falls into two categories.

The first is the Days Added As Needed method. In this scheme, the district sets its final day of school then adds on any days that need to be made up. In my experience, this is the way most districts are doing it now. It's less confusing. You just do some simple addition. It's a bit depressing, though. Adding those days makes the year seem longer.

The second strategy is the Days Subtracted If Not Used plan. Here, the district "builds in" 5 snow days and sets the end of school date including those days. Should fewer than 5 days need to be made up, you get to subtract from the stated end-point. That one requires more concentration to figure out (although I have no idea why...it just does), but you get to subtract days. That is much more delightful from a psychological perspective. This is the method used by my district.

This year, we had One Of Those Winters. We always get "weather." That's a given. And we are going to have to make up snow days no matter what. But to have two days off in a row right out of the gate, before the Christmas decorations are even up, is rather rare. The early part of the season hit us hard and we quickly used up our "built-in" days.

In fact, we went over those five days. We used six.

I don't quibble with any of those days. I do like me a snow day. And every one of them involved the sort of weather that would have made for lousy travel. Then there was the one (#6 if I recall...) that allowed me to get to the doctor after having been sick for a month straight. They all were well thought out cancellations. And I got waffles on those days.

It is still hard to reconcile those waffles past with the harsh reality of being in school until the 23rd. If I dwell too long on the whole matter, I might just begin to weep uncontrollably. That isn't going to help things at all. My poor students will not know what to do with that and might even take advantage of the situation while I dab my swollen eyes with a sodden tissue. I need to distract myself lest chaos reign at the local middle school.

So I sit here thinking about knitting and all the things I might be able to craft up once I am finally released from my Snow Day Make Up Prison. I think about spinning and how nice it will be to do more of that when time permits. I think about my Big Fluffy Kitty and my Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty who miss me when I am gone all day. I let my mind wander off to The Farmer's Market and the weekly trips I will make to visit the vegetables. I revel in images of late night television without guilt because the alarm clock will have no meaning for a short while. I remind myself that the school district has excluded me from all summer trainings due to budget cuts and that I will not be expected back in the classroom until the end of August...

I think of all these things. Because if I don't, then I will start to remember that, not only did I not get to subtract days this year, I had to add. Ouch.

SA

12 comments:

Elaine said...

Poor Sheepie!

trek said...

Not "waffles", waff-ooz!

Kath said...

I think you need a waffle. That will make you feel better.

Karen said...

We broke even this year and have to go until June 22. That's a Monday. It's so not fair.
Eat some waffles. They'll make you feel better.

Anonymous said...

::pat, pat, pat:: It's ok.. just a few more days. Lucky girl!


mia

Charleen said...

I'm so sorry. I won't even tell you that I have four days left - only two with students. (ducking and running......)

Knitting Linguist said...

Ouch, indeed! I think you deserve a waffle. With ice cream. Don't you?

Donna Lee said...

That seems unfair. Not only did you have all 5 extra days, but to add another one....Although I do seem to remember some enjoyment during the cold weather.

And I assume it will be summer eventually. The thermometer doesn't seem to know it.

Jeanne said...

Yargh. So by the time you get to summer vacation, it'll be back to school again? Something is very wrong with that.

I agree. Waff-ooz to the rescue!

Yarnhog said...

Oh, that is unduly harsh! I'm so sorry. My district has decided to shorten the school year by five days, due to budget issues. As a parent, this is pretty much equally bad. ;)

Beth said...

So these last days are really like planning for summer. Sounds like you need to get the ole index cards out!

Teri S. said...

Well, either you add or you subtract. I have it on relatively good authority that our school district builds in snow days and if they aren't used? You don't get to subtract! You get bonus school days!

That's just wrong.