Love-Hate Relationship

I love winter. I mean I LOVE winter! It is even better when the ground is covered with a blanket of white cold fluff, the stuff that most people curse. This year has been tough though because we had what I like to call a typical New England winter here in Philadelphia. What was unlike New England (where I lived for 13 winters), however, is that schools close at the sign of the first flake and sometimes even before that first snowflake appears. Therefore, as a professor, I am one of thousands of teachers who missed A LOT of classes. I have felt it more in the past few weeks than I even did at the time, because we are trying to finish this semester-interruptus. Final exams are preceded by the students’ last speeches. I have never experienced a semester like this–ever! Sure the first snow day or two was fun, but then I developed this love-hate relationship with the stuff. I would walk in it, take pics, soak up its beauty, while also being forced to ponder how I was going to rearrange my syllabi–yet again and again and again. I am, if nothing else, flexible! The students were good-natured about it—did they even mind missing so many classes? Some did. Perhaps many did. I fought to still teach them as much as humanly possible within the time constraints that were dealt to us by my beloved snow. I am a little sheepish now when I say “I love snow.” I feel I need to explain myself, to apologize for my fondness of it. But, really, what is there not to like? The world becomes quiet, the dirtiest surfaces are made pure, and life comes to a stop as the traffic outside my window all but dissipates completely. But see, there is the dilemma. Life comes to a stop! Nice! And…. Oh No—classes come to a stop!!

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