One of those funny little role reversals about becoming a teacher is that you realize that teachers fantasize about snow days as much as students do, and we feel the bitter sting of disappointment when we face the disappointing truism that New York City public schools never close because of snow.
...except when they DO!!! Yesterday, I knew better than to fall into the snow day trap, so I prepared as though it was any other Sunday. I laid out an outfit. I made my lunch. I printed out directions to the bakery I ambitiously planned to visit after school as consolation for the long snowy bus ride. I set my alarm early so I could leave early on the subway instead of in my car.
Most importantly, I did not jinx anything -- because everyone knows New York City public schools never close.
I never sleep well when it snows all night -- I'm always up to check on the accumulation, and I always have dreams that no snow has stuck at all -- so I was up extra early this morning. DOE website: nothing. NY1: nada. Local news channels: nope.
So I got dressed. I put on my track pants and boots. I put my work pants and work shoes in a backpack. I packed my lunch. I even accessorized.
Just before 6 am, I gave the DOE website once last chance. "Come on," I pleaded as I hit refresh. "You really don't want to close schools? No? OK, then, thanks for nothing."
I put on my big puffy coat and my hat and my gloves. I headed downstairs. The snow made it difficult to push open the door. I lifted my hood against the wind and began trekking through the unshoveled snow. It was still dark out. Cars were driving cautiously through the streets.
Then my phone rang. "Are you sure they didn't close schools?" said my fiance.
"Of course I'm sure," I answered impatiently, still hoofing it through the snow.
"I think they might have just closed them," he said.
I stopped cold. (Get it? Cold? Ha!) I made him check the DOE website, which was not updated ("They're probably just inefficient!" he said). In an effort to convince me, he held the phone up to the television, where I could halfway make out various news anchors telling me that city public schools were closed, only I didn't really trust them, because everyone knows city public schools never close.
Finally my fiance suggested that I hang up and 311. And when the recorded message informed me that New York City public schools were indeed closed, I actually jumped up in the air, shouted, "Yahoo!" and began running back toward my apartment. Five minutes later? I would have been underground on the subway headed towards school.
I grew up as a New York City public school student, and the only time we ever got a snow day was in 1996, when the city recorded 20 inches of snow. Schools hadn't closed due to snow before that since 1978. According to NY1, we've only gotten five or six inches on the ground so far, and my main man Pat Kiernan is quite surprised at the chancellor's decision. But for the first and probably only time in my life, I say praise Joel Klein and hallelujah!