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Another memento of my youth…….

….cancelled by the disruption of the pandemic. Stay with me here. Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Imagine you’re all snuggly in your bed on a cold winter’s morning. You wake up, rub the sleep from your eyes and peek out the window. And you see…..nothing. Nothing but blankets and blankets of white, fluffy snow. In the days before smart phones and rave alerts, my middle-school self would quickly turn on the radio (to WJOL – Joliet, of course) and switch on the television to see if – hoping against hope – school would be cancelled.

Pre-internet, we would listen with one ear to the long list of school closures read by the radio announcer and keep one eye on the slow scrawl of closures slogging by on the bottom of the screen just under Ray Raynor and Chelveston. (Anyone under the age of a boomer or not from the Chicago area can Google it.)

Then. There it is. St. Joseph’s grade school in Manhattan, closed.

Hallelujah! There are very few feelings better than the unexpected gift of a snow day. And now, sad to say, that will never happen again. Zoom has made snow days a thing of the past. Now, instead of “School will be closed today,” students hear “School will shift to remote learning today.” Or worse, if the student hasn’t set foot in a classroom in a year, he or she will hear….nothing. Business as usual.

I rue the fact that today’s students will never experience the thrill of anticipating a snow day and then…getting it. Along with pay phones, candy cigarettes and chalk, snow days are an old-fashioned concept that will slowly slip from our memory.

On the bright side, kids won’t have to make up that snow day on a bright, beautiful, warm, June day. So there’s that.

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