Thursday, December 05, 2013

A Mess of Inconvenience

Several weeks into the last school year, we had a doozy of a weather forecast.  Two feet of snow, freezing temperatures, big ol' blizzard's a-comin', 100% chance of snow.  Following the lead of the surrounding districts, our superintendent called a snow day the night before the storm hit.

And then it didn't.

Oh, it snowed... an inch, maybe two.  Like everyone else, I thoroughly enjoyed having a snow day that I could run errands in without fear for my life on the roads.

The downside was that we spent the rest of the school year battling our way to school on days that absolutely should have been called off.  We didn't have a single other snow day the rest of the year, despite several occasions where we really should have.

This year has been weirdly mild.  Aside from one day of snow (which, naturally, was the day of my Advanced Drama class play), it's been weirdly warm and very dry.  And then came this week.

Monday was the informational workshop for the musical auditions (Have I mentioned yet what we're doing?  Monty Python's Spamalot. The amateur rights were just barely released, and it's going to be tremendous fun to produce), and Tuesday was a prep day/speech practice.  Tuesday is also when we all started laying bets on whether we'd have a snow day on Wednesday.  The forecasts all predicted a 100% chance of snow, 9-24 inches total, and frigid temperatures.  And, indeed, when I crossed the parking lot to the auditorium after school the flakes were already beginning to fall.

I slept restlessly, as I do when I anticipate a phone call at any moment.  To my surprise, when my alarm rang and I peeped outside and found that there was indeed a solid snow cover and flakes were still falling, I still hadn't gotten a call.

I got ready for the day and made my way slowly to school, anticipating a call at any moment.  Nope.  Not even a delayed start.

Most of the buses were late, and some students stayed home with "weather-related" listed as their parental excuses on the attendance roster.  I tried to keep my class focused on the task at hand, but they were angry about the lack of a snow day, nervous about the auditions that afternoon, and distracted by the worsening weather visible through my classroom windows.

The view when I first arrived.  There's a highway under that whiteness.

30 minutes into the school day, the superintendent emailed an apology to the entire district.  "It should have been a delayed start or a snow day," he said.  "No, duh," we collectively thought, even while I marveled at the fact that he issued an apology.

30 minutes after that, we got the word - they were sending everyone home early.  Halfway through second period we were collectively released into the storm.

I reassured the anxious students who came running to ask about auditions before leaving.  "It's fine," I said.  "We'll just move everything over a day.  No problem."

Rachel, meanwhile, was scrambling to find a babysitter.  Mom was supposed to fly out to Denver that morning to watch the grandchildren while Rachel came up for auditions and call-backs, but her flight was cancelled due to the weather.  I was glad - I had been worried about her traveling in any manner in this storm.

I stopped to make the copies I needed for 1st period,
and the parking lot completely emptied within those ten minutes.

I took advantage of the school's paved parking lot to put on chains and then drove slowly back to the condo.  There have been internet issues there all fall; so I quelled my panic over a day without any internet access by working on Christmas present project #5, which I had brought with me along with all of my Thanksgiving leftovers anticipating just such a predicament.

Wednesday afternoon I got a call - a delayed start for the next day.  Noting that it wasn't even dark yet, I figured the delayed start was another part of the superintendent's attempt to placate the community.  I didn't mind.  We could still hold auditions as planned, plus I'd get to sleep in an hour.  Works for me!

And then I got another call at 5:30 this morning - "Due to widespread power outages and low temperatures, school is cancelled for today, Thursday, December 5th."


I hung up the phone and blearily made my way into the bathroom, shaking my head at the superintendent's apparent overcompensation. That's when I discovered that I didn't have any water.

Crap encore.

I checked all of the pipes I knew of, and everything looked fine.  The furnace closet on the balcony was cold, but nothing looked out of sorts.  I moved the space heather from the bathroom into the furnace closet and set it to medium, then crawled back into bed to wait for dawn.

Still no water when the morning came.  I checked with the neighbors, and it looked like the entire building was in the same predicament.  With my mom's help (go, go long distance Google searches!) I did what I could to diagnose that it was a problem with pipes outside the building (as opposed to inside the building that could burst and flood the place while I was gone).  Reassured that I had done all I could, I packed up my car and made my way back to the land of internet and running water.  I'll be back up there Sunday afternoon to meet the internet repair guys anyway, so I'll check on the water again then.

As soon as I got back to my condo, I posted an entry on the musical's blog to reassure the students.  "It'll be fine," I wrote.  "We'll just push everything back a day."  Again.

It's really cold, but the roads aren't too bad down here, so I had a chance to do some grocery shopping and laundry and such.  I actually enjoyed being home for a while, since I haven't had the chance to do that for several days.  I baked cookies and got artsy, and then I got a phone call.

"Due to freezing temperatures, the district will be running on a delayed start tomorrow, Friday, December 6th."


Maybe we won't do auditions this week after all.

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