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Adults need snow days, too

January 3, 2012 - Burton Cole (humor columnist)

Why don’t adults get snow days?

Snow days are one of the greatest shortcomings of our educational system. True, they’re not as bad as summer vacations that lasted nearly three whole months in the shortcomings department, but they rank right up there.

I learned to count on snow days and summer vacations. A kid could take it to the piggy bank. Summers would be free. Snow days would happen. Listening to radio forecasts and guessing which days was part of the excitement. We prayed for blizzards on book report days. Or social studies tests days.

After doffing cap and gown, I stepped out into this magical place called The Real World and discovered a harsh reality – bosses frown on employees missing work.

“Gee, boss, another 6 inches of snow fell overnight. It’s too cold to shovel the driveway. I better stay home in my pajamas and drink hot chocolate and watch cartoons.”

“Cole, if you’re not here in 30 minutes, I’m giving your paycheck to someone else. Permanently.”

“I’ll put on another pair of long johns.”

My teachers did a wonderful job teaching me things such as diagramming sentences, solving algebra problems in which letters hijacked the spots from numbers, and absorbing more historical, geographical and governmental facts than many political candidates.

It’s the snow days I miss. And recess. Graham crackers and nap time.

This morning, some students in the Mahoning Valley stayed home, and others thought they might. Snow day. I sit at my desk, without a graham cracker or nap mat in sight. It’s a work day. With snow.

Like Robert Fulghum, I may have learned everything I really needed to know in kindergarten, but I learned a few things too many. I thought there’d be snow days.

If I’d known the truth, I wouldn’t have grown up.


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Still in his pajamas, Burt looks for enough white stuff to get a snow day off work.


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