Snow Days and the Swine Flu.

Both of these are colossal pains in my… neck.

When you think about it, they are quite similar (besides being a pain in my… fine we’ll stick with neck).This Isn't Enought Snow to Cancel School.

Don’t believe me?

Both give you the chance to stay in bed and watch the Price is Right (no offense Mr. Carey, but I miss Bob Barker).

Granted one may cause you to stare into the bottom of the toilet bowl; but other than that, they have a lot in common.

Both may provoke the closing of schools this winter.

Both are covered on the local news in a way that makes you think the world is coming to an end.

I could go on and on, but that’s all I’ve got.

The Crisis of 2009 is the Swine Flu.  Of course it’s only “The Crisis” until something more exciting happens.  After all you can’t expect CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News to cover happy uplifting stories.

I really believe when something more “entertaining” (sadly, it will likely be horrific or involve rich people stealing our money…) comes along, we will have heard the last of the Swine Flu.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think this is the crisis to end all crises.

There’s no way it’s bigger than Y2K.

Okay, bad example.

Humans like to be scared.  We love rumors.  We thrive on drama. 

Most of all, we fear the unknown.

The Swine Flu is all of these wrapped up into one mysterious disease.

As an added bonus, pigs are gross.  Who wants to get sick from something that started with dirty farm animals (I’m hesitant to speak for the group… but not me)?

Long story short, the Swine Flu has caught America’s attention.  At least for now.

Who cares that the southern hemisphere is just coming out of their winter (and flu) season and they found the Swine Flu to be less of a big of deal than predicted.

We’re Americans.

And if we say the Swine Flu is going to be huge, it’s going to be HUGE.

At least until something else comes along.

It reminds me of Snow Days (without the shots of course).

Each year, parents and students focus on whether school will be dismissed because of snow.  The excitement continues to build as rumors of an impending storm spread like wildfire. 

The news media (i.e. those weather people who are almost always wrong) like nothing more than to fan the flames.

For a school administrator the first snow of the year is always the worst.

An inch can cause people to go completely ballistic.

The phone rings off the hook at school just as soon as the first snowflake hits the ground (sometimes days in advance… and I’m not kidding).

Winter Weather Crises come in 5 Stages:

Stage One – the initial news reports (a week in advance) saying we could get between a single flake and 1 inch of light snow.

Stage Two – sheer panic by the general public that if school is not dismissed literally thousands of people will die on the streets in car accidents or by starvation (hence the run on stores for food… which usually means cookies, soda, and renting a movie).  Total strangers, without children, repeatedly call the school to say the administrators are idiots (sorry, this has nothing to do with a snowstorm… this is just an average day).

Stage Three – school is cancelled and everyone survives to go sledding or the mall by 10:00 am.

Stage Four – later that same winter (after 8 other storms) an actual blizzard drops 29 inches of snow in 30 minutes (that’s a lot).

Stage Five – parents call the school, begging the administration not to dismiss because they are sick of having their children at home and they need to go to work.

I wonder if the Swine Flu Crisis won’t go much the same way.

Initially everyone is in a panic.  This will be especially true when a school district has their first student with Swine Flu.

But what happens when the 7th, or 19th, 52nd, or 1,000th person contracts it?

Will everyone still be as paranoid?

Or will we send our kids to school and go back to work?

Time may prove me wrong.  It has before.

I can’t tell you how silly I felt when I locked myself in the basement with beef jerky, bottled water, and 37 People Magazines as I anticipated Y2K.

Excuse me if I don’t trust the government and the news media.  But as the president’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do before."

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A Politician Wants Drivers Licences Revoked for Dropouts: How Did Educators Not Think of This?

No ALL Student Drivers are Bad....This link was sent to me by a loyal reader of the blog (I can neither confirm nor deny that they are housed in the correctional system with a great deal of free time on their hands).

United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Politician-Ill. political party doesn’t matter because I don’t think there is an ounce of difference between a Democrat and a Republican) proposed taking away the driver’s licenses of high school dropouts.

This upset the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

My only question is why?

As in, why has it taken so long for a politician to figure out this riddle? Students work harder and are more likely to stay in school when a carrot (i.e. driver’s license) is dangled in front of them.

Who knew?

Next, a politician will be telling us that students who play sports and participate in extracurricular activities will work harder in order to stay eligible. Shocker.

Or maybe they will let us know that they believe most young people study harder for their Driver’s License test than they do for an English exam. I am stunned.

And why are the two caucuses upset? Don’t they want their group’s children to stay in school?

If holding a drivers license over their heads keeps them from dropping out, isn’t that a good thing?

Won’t these students have a chance to earn more money over the course of their lifetimes, hold better jobs, and possibly attend colleges if they have high school diplomas?

What’s the downside here? Am I missing something?

Sure, you can always point out the exception to the rule.

A student might have to drop out to support himself. There might be a girl who has to leave high school to raise her baby.

But there is a reason they call situations like these… exceptions.

I am confused (yes, again).

Why don’t we pass education related laws to help the majority of kids?

When did having a driver’s license become a right and not a privilege?

Why can’t we have a law in place that takes into account that a student may drop out and lose his or her license but it can be reinstated once they receive a GED?

And most importantly, why did Rep. Emanuel come up with this solution to help curtail dropouts before those of us in education?


This idea has been discussed, proposed, and rehashed in every teacher’s lounge in America since the beginning of time?

Who knew?

Oh yea. Educators did.

And something else we know.

States issue licenses, not the federal government (who knew teaching social studies would come in so handy?). While I appreciate Rep. Emanuel’s intentions, I am not sure it is his problem to solve.

But I could be wrong. I did study harder for my Driver’s License Exam than for the Constitution Test.

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While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.