Snow Days: Thinking About Why We’re Here

By Li Stebner

“Do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?”

I asked the routine question to my mom as we drove home. She reiterated a hollow “I don’t know.” I refreshed my Fox 8 School Closing list at least three times in two minutes, yet Hathaway Brown was not showing a cancellation. Shaker was closed, as was Mentor, Beachwood, five of the six Our Lady of Mt. Carmels, and even Laurel. Yet, there was no Hathaway Brown.

“Do you think we’ll have school tomorrow?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well . . . What do you think?”

“If I were you, I would count on school.”

Angry and bitter, I sighed. I wanted the day off, even though there was little need for another snow day; ever since winter break, we hadn’t had one full week of classes. There was also winter weekend coming up, soon followed by spring break. The next morning I argued with the “above powers” about why we were one of the only ones to go to school. I quickly discovered that I was not the only one upset about the lack of a snow day. The question as to “why” we had school rang throughout the halls. The protest that “we shouldn’t be here,” was as loud and clear as the fact that we were, in fact, at school. I dragged my feet through the morning and well past 3:17, when I was finally freed. I did not finish complaining about my stolen day then, though; I argued that I should have had that day off well into the next day. Reflecting, I see that my actions were wrong. Why did I complain about a gift that I had been given?

Instead of spewing numbers and statistics, I want to use an example that we’re all familiar with after Legacy Day. Remember watching Girl Rising and seeing a little girl named Wadley? She was the child from Haiti who wouldn’t bow down to authorities that were against her receiving an education. She had nothing and was determined to learn in an environment where school wasn’t even a physical building; she went every morning to a tent erected upon rubble, which is only one example of what may serve as a school building. In China, there are schools without desks or chairs, without paper and pens, and even without water. Yet, children walk miles to attend school. Sometimes against their own parents and the forces of nature, children will walk to attend a place where food or even a roof may not be a given. Here I am, though, complaining that I need another day off of my hard life – one more day to prepare for my physics and math test, one more day to study for the ACT, one more day to not be screamed at by my iHome at six am.

I think, instead, that I should be going through the halls and thanking Mr. Christ for giving me one more day to be educated. Perhaps I could even be snickering at all the schools that have the day off because they don’t get the opportunity to expand their knowledge through one more school day; in reality, though, this would be crazy. No one is going to “thank the Lord” that we have school when no one else does, but maybe we should just for a moment take into consideration how lucky we are to learn – to have a heated building, fresh food, understanding teachers, and most of all the opportunity to have a future, because that is a lot more than some others can ever hope to have.