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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Epidemics and Snowmageddon

So I realized recently that I haven't posted anything since before Christmas....it's March.  I'm completely ashamed of the amount of slacking and abandonment that's been going on here!  A lot has happened in the past couple of months to keep me away.  Have you heard the Counting Crows song Long December? Well, December flew right by.  It was a long February for a couple of very annoying reasons.  Let's recap.

The epidemic.
  Our school year has been much different this year in that we haven't had as long of breaks as we normally do.  By breaks I mean time out of school for holidays and so on.  Our breaks this year have either been shortened or built into the calendar as weather days in case of snow.  Our Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks were both relatively short and once they were over we started the long journey from January to June.  It's not a problem for me. I can make it from January to June but it's a different story for my students.  They get tired and burnt out on school and worst of all...sick. 

 January and February brought another round of cold and flu season.  I say that because I feel like any given week can be considered "cold and flu season."  You Kindergarten teachers know what I'm talking about.  Every illness you can think of was passed from student to student to student until eventually it was passed from students to teacher.  Ugh!  For the first time EVER I had the flu AND I lost my voice.  Yes, I LOST MY VOICE.  I've never lost my voice.  I know that's hard for some people to believe but it's true.  One Friday afternoon I had had to dismiss my class to their buses using various clapping and pointing strategies. There was not a sound left in my vocal chords and it hurt...really bad. Imagine striking a match and attempting to swallow it only the flame doesn't go out, it keeps burning.  That's how my throat felt.  OUCH!  I didn't take any days off and neither did my students so the colds and flus kept coming and going and coming back again.  There were no amounts of clorox wipes, lysol, or Flintstone vitamins strong enough to keep the germs away.  It was an epidemic and I honestly wasn't sure if it was going to end...then the snow came.

Snowmageddon
As much as I hate to say this I've really been anti-snow this year for two reasons.  One I did not want another winter like we had last year.  Blizzards, a polar vortex, closed roads, and negative temperatures for days were enough to send any sane person right off the deep end.  It was traumatic and the thought of doing it all over again has terrified me since the first chill I felt in the air this year.  The second reason is that I did not want our school year to be extended any further into June than it already is.  It's just too hard at that point to achieve good, solid learning on those days.  I feel like most of those days are spent more on managing behaviors than accomplishing anything I had planned on doing academically.  Long story short, no snow please, let's just move on.  

I've also noticed that we are now giving winter storms a name?  Like the same way we give hurricanes names?  I still don't really understand that.  One of the storms this year was named Neptune which I found very amusing considering that's my last name.  However, it was winter storm Thor that shut down our entire state with our Governor issuing a state of emergency late this past week and thus shutting school down again for a couple of days.  They say "this is it" for winter storms this year but I'm pretty sure I heard that same phrase a couple weeks ago.  Fingers crossed though.  I truly am ready for summer, I mean spring and some warm weather but I do have to say I appreciate winter storms Neptune and Thor.  They have kept our epidemic from spreading any further and given us all a much needed break. Here's a little glimpse of what Thor left behind for our viewing pleasure.
Not a bad view huh?  One of the advantages to living in the mountain state is that our hills, valleys, and trees define all four seasons the most spectacular ways.  Although I'm not thrilled by the changes this winter has made to my school year I appreciate the small amounts of beauty and the chance for my students and I to get well.  And now..on to spring, summer, warm weather, and views of sand and ocean waves!

xo Devon