Internet Snow Day · 16 January 2021

Snopocalypse 2019

We might not have any snow days this year because of lots of snow on the ground, but we might have snow days because the internet is down or the power is out. (By the way, just because I wrote about it does not mean that I was the cause of it, if it already happened to you.)

I think that everybody associated with schools relishes snow days. Well, almost everybody. Those days when snow is piled so high that cars and busses cannot get through to deliver the kids to school. Those kids cheer when they see the white stuff on the ground and don snow pants and jackets to make snow forts and have snowball fights. Or they make snow sculptures for their friends and neighbors to marvel at. Or they just traipse around the neighborhood seeing their friends in the beautiful winter wonderland.

Or maybe that is just me.

This winter, there will surely be no snow days. That is because whether there is any snow on the ground or not, school is right there for every kid and every teacher. Right there in their own homes. For in most areas of the country for many ages of children, school is being done via remote learning.

It might be a bummer that there will not be any snow days due to heavy snowfall, but that does not mean there will not be snow days. After all, sometimes the power goes out. Worse yet, sometimes the internet goes out.

As I write this, the internet is out in my area. There was a winter storm with heavy wind and rain in the night. The power went out for a time. And the internet was down when I awoke. (And it has been out for almost two whole days.) Which does not mean that I missed class. At least not all of them. I still have phone access. But that does not mean that everybody does. And it does not mean that everybody will be able to access class through the internet.

I am not hoping for internet or power outages. They are not fun. Especially, long outages. But I can see a time when large swaths of the area could be without one or both of these essential utilities. And that is when there might be an internet snow day.

The thing with an internet snow day is that if there is no snow on the ground, what will kids do? They cannot traipse around the neighborhood to look at all their friends’ snow sculptures or join in on an impromptu snowball fight. And they cannot get on the internet to join friends in chat rooms or online games. It could be a nightmare. Kids at home without snow on the ground and no internet. Horror of horrors.

Well, if we ever do have an internet snow day, I know I will survive. If my grown children do not have the internet, they will probably use their phones as hotspots and be on their computers if we have power. And if not, they will probably sleep through the outage. But I also know what when they are rested and if they have little else to do, they will certainly join me in a rousing board game or two. Or maybe we will just talk like we did yesterday. And of course, we can all read the many books that are in our house.

I do lament the makeup days to come whenever we have snow days, but I rarely think about what my students might be doing as I have fun in the snow. I do wonder about what any of us will do if we all have no power and no internet. Being without one or the other is not a tragedy. Just an inconvenience. And while I do not wish to have an internet snow day, I cannot say that I would miss being in remote learning sessions for a day if they were cancelled due to one.

I rarely wish for snow days, and I certainly do not wish for an internet snow day. But I can see that an internet snow day is a distinct possibility. (And just because I wrote about it, does not mean that I caused it when it happens.)

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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