to the Editor
England's pleasant winter surprises
There it was folks, Tuesday, March 1. A glorious snow day! A
snow day is an unexpected gift. The world stops and we have permission
to put our commitments, obligations, and duties on the shelf for
the day. We are allowed to goof-off, do whatever we want to do:
walk downtown just to know what it feels like out there, or even
drive around in the storm if we want to. In my college days I would
have gone back to bed and would have slept until noon. Get up and
go have a snowball fight with my buddies and then we'd all go to
The Down Under. Yes, folks, there used to be a pub downtown Durham
called The Down Under. Ah, the good old days!
Years later, when I was the mother of two school age kids, snow
days were also a source of great excitement. We'd get up really
early, gather together and listen for cancellation announcements.
When we heard "Oyster River cancelled" and "UNH cancelled"
the three of us would scream with sheer joy in anticipation of a
goof-off day. We'd run to the back yard and build a snowman and
have a snowball fight. That accomplished we'd go back in for hot
chocolate and chocolate cookies. Snow day was also "we can
eat anything we want" day, so hot chocolate and cookies for
breakfast was ok. Then we'd drive to Wagon Hill Farm and coast down
the slope in our sleds screaming as if in the grips of euphoria,
our border collie running right behind. In the afternoon we'd be
pulling the sleds in College Woods, this time with the neighbors
golden retriever also tagging along.
Now I am all grown up and cannot deny that to this day, more than
ever I still enjoy the unexpected thrill of a snow day. Ah, what
a pleasure it is to stay in my pajamas, savor a rich cup of coffee,
read the newspaper cover to cover, and work on the crossword puzzle!
My golden retriever is surprised and also confused because we are
home this hour of the day in the middle of the week. He does not
ask why because he doesn't care to know. All he knows is that something
awesome must be happening here and whatever it is, it makes him
extremely happy. For some reason he senses extra walks in the woods.
Many people, however, including myself, ask why UNH cancelled today,
and not Monday, Feb. 21? Compared to that Monday today was even
balmy. It wasn't until I read an editorial in the Boston Globe written
by a Massachusetts school district superintendent that I understood.
The writer explains how difficult it is to make that decision. It
takes hours of pondering, weighing the cons and the pros, and consultation
with colleagues to finally come to a decision. It seems, though,
he is damned if he does cancel school and damned if he doesn't.
Weather broadcasters are not always correct in their forecast, and
if the superintendent makes a wrong decision his entire school district
may be taking precious learning time off that turned out to be just
a sunny and dry winter day, not a nasty blizzard after all. Of course,
it can go the other way and every one in his district would be on
the road under dangerous weather conditions. So it must be difficult
indeed. However, I dare to humbly ask the UNH authorities that are
involved in this decision, to please if you must err, then err on
the fun side, i.e., vote to cancel. Those who share my sentiments
regarding the delightfulness of a snow day, will not complain.
Maria Russell, administrative assistant, Communication Sciences
Thank you for making Campus Journal available online
Dear Lori and Staff,
Thank you for making the Campus Journal available on line. It's
wonderful to see the all the photos in color, it really makes the
periodical more professional!!
Keep up the good work.
UNH Foundation, Inc.