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Archive for January 23, 2014

The Polar Vortex Will Turn My Nephew Into A 35-Year-Old First Grader

As the polar vortex returns to Minnesota, schools are again shutting down for the chill. In order to make kids less dumb, those days have to be made up somewhere, generally at the end of the academic year. However, if we look to Newtonian thought, we can expect trouble in June as well, for the third law of motion tells us that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”

Come summer, we can expect the complete opposite of the polar vortex—a sort of tropical steamer, as it were. When the time comes to make up the days being missed now, it will simply be too hot for the youth to go to school. By the time the heat blast gives way, it will be well past the solstice.

Why not make up the days then, you may be pondering. I come from a lineage of educators, most notably my Mother. Now, there are three things that teachers love about the job—winter break, spring break, and summer break. Especially summer break. If teachers are expected to continue working into July, we can expect nothing less than chaos.

For instance, every June, it is tradition for my Mother to peel out of the school parking lot, stop at the liquor store, then disappear down into the utility shed until Labor Day. As far as I know, she isn’t even aware of the existence of the time we call ‘July,’ and August lives in her brain as a sort of hypnopompic hallucination, with the opening of September being the first solid grasp of reality after a three month soak in rum and Pepsi.

So now the make-up days have been pushed into what would be the new school year. Mass confusion can be expected here, as many of the students won’t realize that they are still in the grade from the previous year for the first week or so of the new year. By the time all that gets smoothed out, we’re looking at the September holidays—Talk Like A Pirate Day, Mexican Independence Day, Rosh Hashanah, Oktoberfest. Then October harvest arrives, when all the children head to the fields to shuck corn and shave animals. In November, it will be deemed too ‘nice’ out for the kids to be cooped up in school, due to the looming polar vortex of next winter. Throw in all the cancelled days for that, and we’re basically up to January 23rd of 2015, when the whole cycle repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats.

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