Snowmageddoon from the other side

After lots of shovelling yesterday, today appears to be business as usual for schools around here. If cold qualifies as business as usual!

As I was typing the post yesterday, I was reminded that there are always two sides to every story. For every fond teacher remembrance, there are lots of student stories.

Here are a few of mine. The context was just a bit different from the teacher side post of yesterday. I grew up in the snow belt of Lake Huron where the municipalities really understood how to handle snow. And yet there were times when it just took everyone by surprise. Schools and buses were handled differently then. There was no scenario where buses would not run but schools would stay open. It was all or nothing. So while we had “town kids” and “country kids”, if the weather was bad, school was cancelled. It did lead to some personal memories as a kid.

  • We lived within walking distance of the elementary school. I was a “crossing guard” which meant I got to leave school five minutes before everyone else so that I could wear my cool badge and get to the crossing point on Highway 8 first. We were able to bring out sleds to school and so mine would come with me. I remember, once I got the traffic stopped, that we would put the kindergarten kids on the sled and pull them across the highway when it was so snow covered that the pavement was just a memory.
  • The reason why we could take our sleds to school? The back yard of the school had some of the best sledding in town. When school was closed, we didn’t stay bottled up at home; we went to the school to go sledding. For a change of pace, the piles of snow that were left in the parking lot of the grocery store by the plough were great as well.
  • And the plough always seemed to leave great big chunks of ice on the side of the road as they went by. All it took were four of them to make two goal posts for our road rink. The only complaint was when the puck “went over the post”. Since we lived on a street that had a slope to it, there was a period when we would have an advantage by going down hill.
  • Snow days were a thing at secondary school as well. There was one year when the “country kids” were storm stayed and ended up spending the night either at the school or at relative/friend’s houses in town. We couldn’t let them be lonely so a few of us who had snowmobiles at the time would join them and the storm stayed teachers at the school.
  • Snow days were not uncommon at university as well. I don’t know if it was a university policy or just the fact that computer science students would pull all nighters, but the Math Building was always open. At the time, I lived off campus, just across the road and so we continued the practice of all nighters to get the programming done. It’s an interesting mix of people that you see in the wee hours of the morning.

Yes, there are definitely two sides to a big hit of snow.

Misery this morning …

Do you have any stories to share from your student perspective? I’d be interested in reading them in the comments.

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If you read it anywhere else, it’s not original.


3 thoughts on “Snowmageddoon from the other side

  1. I went to university in North Bay. Snow and ice was a thing. School never cancelled … except for the one time that we had an ice storm, and the roads were so caked with ice that the bus couldn’t make it up the hill. I didn’t know though until I made it to the bus stop. How did I get to the bus stop safely? Sitting on my bum and sliding myself down there. Fun times! 🙂 Thanks for making me think of these memories! Excited to read what others have to share.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Unless I have it blocked in my memory, I don’t recall a single snow day during my elementary years. I didn’t catch a bus to school until Gr. 9 and I think I remember one snow day. Maybe it was a stretch of “good winter” years in Kenora. During my university years (London ON), there was only one day that things shut down on campus due to a ice over. Wish I had brought my skates!

    You had quite the responsibilities as a young crossing guard, Doug! I guess I do recall older students helping us cross the road to our elementary school, but not a highway!

    We had the best sliding hill in the area at my intermediate school. The hill had to be declared off bounds at times when things got too icy. Well, during the school day, that is.

    Liked by 1 person

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