A sign of the times: HCPSS released a “snow cancellation announcement that isn’t” last night which takes into account the new world of distance learning that we live in.
1/26/21, Virtual instruction as scheduled; HCPSS buildings are closed. Meal service canceled. In-person evening activities w/ HCPSS students/staff & community-sponsored programs in HCPSS buildings are canceled.
I must admit I was extremely gratified by the lone student voice who came back with:
What if the power goes out
I noticed that, earlier in the evening, this same account had responded to an earlier HCPSS tweet with this question:
If there are power outages cause of ice tmrw, can we get off to play in the snow
Long-time readers of the blog know that I hold a particular fondness for students turning up on Twitter trying to influence weather-related school decisions. We haven’t seen many of them lately, since high school students have abandoned Twitter for Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and other platforms I am too lame to be “up on.”
I miss them.
Now they are more likely to turn up on Twitter if they are attempting to holler at adults to get their attention, for instance, when calling out racist behavior by peers. The rest of the time they have better places to be.
Something about these two tweets tugged at my heartstrings a little bit. Even in a world so changed by the pandemic, there’s such a basic desire to get a day off, to break the expected routine: to play. Do you remember being that age? Do you remember what an amazing gift that would have been?
Our kids’ world is so different from ours, and yet the kids who they are, deep down inside, may be more like us than we realize. We should never forget how essential play is, and part of play involves having the time and the space and the free choice to create one’s own enjoyment. Even in a pandemic, or maybe especially in a pandemic, having the autonomy to make those choices makes the difference between mere survival and actually thriving.
To be honest, teens could also be looking to get a chance to sleep in followed by an unstructured jumble of lying on the couch on social media, binge-watching, gaming, hanging out via group chat. And the hook of “playing in the snow” could be out there baited for nostalgic oldsters like me, ready to believe in the magical properties of a snow day.
But that’s okay. I remember being that kid, too. Don’t you?