Thursday, January 10, 2013

Just make it through February...

Yes, if you can bear the cold temps of January and February, you've got it made!  Typically, our WY winter temps dip below zero pretty regularly during these two months, and then it's much more bearable until spring arrives.

Since this is my first winter of not working a steady job, I have been thinking about what these long winter months felt like. I remember December through February like this:

Get up in the dark. Drive to work in the dark. Work in artificial light all day. Get a couple breaths of fresh air on my way to and from the parking lot.  Drive home in the dark. Watch out for deer!!!

Attend a lot of basketball games and help man the concession stand on occasion.

"Turn in your work!"  Grade papers, grade papers, grade papers.

Write a variety of winter poetry with the students, recalling the beauty or the beast of winter.  Hey, let's have some fun learning to use figurative language!  Share Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." I love that poem, and it's so beautiful to recite.  By the way, I refuse to believe it was written with dark, suicidal implications!

Teach Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" to freshmen and let ourselves get immersed in the history of Medieval and Renaissance England. The dark, cold castles and unsanitary conditions seemed a little easier to imagine during our winter months. Come on, let's try our hand at writing on parchment in Shakespearean style! 

For several years, I went snow skiing in Jackson a few weekends during the season.  But that meant getting up really early to be on a big yellow bus at 4:00 a.m. to ride 3 hours to Jackson with the high school ski club.  Ski hard until the lifts closed at 4:00 p.m. and then climb back on the bus, squeeze into the seat with all my gear, thaw out, recall challenging runs and falls with my skiing buddies,  and maybe catch a few winks before getting home at 9:00 p.m.  What a LONG day.  Was I CRAZY?  But I did see the sun and got a little exercise!

Early in my career I also drove a van full of kids all over the state on weekends for speech meets. Leave early, drive 1-4 hours to get there, coach kids, judge a few rounds, celebrate and console, and then drive them home.  LONG day.  Was I CRAZY?  But I did see the sun and got out of town...on slick/snowy roads!

Teacher friends would occasionally plan something fun in the winter,  like a progressive dinner party or a wild Christmas party.  And thank goodness we all had some funny experiences in the classroom or with kids on trips.  That helped keep us sane.

But really, I couldn't wait until the days got longer and we came out of the deep freeze.   If we could just make it through February...

Oh, excuse me, I've got to go out and haul in some dry wood; we're expecting snow tonight.


  1. It's funny. When I lived up north we didn't see our neighbors outside all winter. It was just too cold.

    Now, I don't see my neighbors all summer. It's just too hot. They stay inside in the a/c. I see them outside in the winter. LOL

  2. Did the sun actually shine in all those years we went to work in the dark and got home in the dark? Some weeks, I wondered if it did.