An argument against snow days

People attempt to add traction to a stuck car with cardboard. // Photo by Oliver Hamlin

By James Ellis

At first I found the snowstorm an exciting development. After the late start on Feb. 4, I spent the rest of the week religiously monitoring the weather forecast with growing anticipation. Once the snow began to fall, it was apparent that classes would be cancelled, and the weather alert we received the night of Sunday, Feb. 10 finally brought me the catharsis I had looked forward to all week.

I took our free Tuesday as a nice bonus. When classes were cancelled Wednesday, I began to hope we could maybe get the whole week off. But when classes resumed Thursday, frankly, I was relieved to return to class.

First of all, I place greater value on my classroom attendance now that I pay for my education. We were already going to miss two Mondays this quarter with Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidents Day. With the late start on Feb. 4 and three days of cancelled classes, we’ve missed a little over a week’s worth of class.

So far, two of my classes have adjusted their syllabi to accommodate all of our missed classes, and more snow is forecasted for next week. While it’s nice not to worry about so many assignments, I feel like the education I’m missing will just make my classes more difficult in the future.

I appreciated the extra time for sleep and studying, but I didn’t really need it after the weekend. I mostly stayed inside, as I imagine most did during the storm, because travelling far on foot was unpleasant and by car was hazardous. I was reluctant to imbibe because I’m broke, and I still had responsibilities outside of class. I enjoyed the time off, but I feel everything I did I could have done while also having classes during the day.

I don’t have to commute by car, so I don’t know the extent to which the snow has affected daily routines for people, but it certainly slowed things down. I wasn’t going out often to begin with this winter, but I do even less now that it’s cold and wet and slippery.

Ultimately, my complaints about the cold are mostly trivial, especially with the rate of homelessness in Bellingham and the reports from around the nation of people dying from hypothermia. For me, day-to-day life in Bellingham has taken a pleasant winter aesthetic, and I’m grateful I can appreciate it without worrying about warmth or shelter.

One comment

  • How is this an argument against snow days in general, as a concept? There is only one sentence saying that the author felt that they, personally, could’ve managed to attend class despite the snow. Whoever is editing the titles needs to be more attentive to the way the title implies the content. It’s a discredit to an otherwise perfectly nice post.

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