If you live in eastern North Dakota, all you heard about last week was this great snowpocalypse that was supposed to hit us Sunday/Monday. By 9 pm on Sunday evening, every single elementary, middle, high school, and college in the Fargo-Moorhead area had called off school for the following day. This was the case even though not one snowflake had fallen.
My cousins and I were excited about the snow day. Who doesn’t love an unexpected three-day weekend? The weather was going to be bad and we wouldn’t have to go out in it, but instead could stay curled up in bed and watch movies all day. Yep, I was very ok with getting that call on Sunday night.
I woke up yesterday morning at about 8:30 and gingerly pulled back the curtain in my bedroom. I’m pretty checked out of winter and was nervous to see the 10-20 inches of snow we were supposed to get. This is the view I was greeted with:
Yep. No snow had fallen overnight. It wasn’t even windy or bitterly cold. We definitely should have been at school. I was very frustrated, because even though I didn’t mind having an extra day off we would have to make this day up during our Easter break. I’m fine with making snow days up with it’s disgusting out (I’d rather have one less day off at Easter than go outside in 20 inches of snow and 30 mph winds). However, this is the second time this year that the superintendents of area schools let the meteorologists freak them out and called out school before seeing if that was necessary.
I was even more frustrated this morning. The storm eventually did hit us at about 4 pm yesterday. We didn’t get 10-20 inches of snow, but there were some pretty big drifts. We did not have a snow day today, and while trying to get out of my driveway my car got stuck. So there’s me at 7:30 am, trying to shovel enough snow to move my car and yelling about having a snow day when it’s dry out and then trying to get to school in this mess. I made it to school about 5 minutes before first period started, all sweaty from shoveling and not in a good mood.
At about 10 we received an email from the superintendent. He apologized for calling off school yesterday and stated that our procedure is to follow whatever the public schools do because “they have more contact with the city in terms of the status of snow removal progress” but that the administration will be reviewing that process for next year.
I felt really bad after receiving this email. I had been grumpy with the administration all morning, but I should have realized that they are only human. The town was freaking out about this massive blizzard and they didn’t want to put their students, staff, and parents in harm’s way. I’m pretty impressed with our superintendent. He owned up to making a mistake and is taking steps to avoid the same mistake in the future.
This whole scenario made me think about how different many situations would be if we just owned up to our mistakes instead of making excuses. I don’t like to be wrong, so I can admit that I can be a pretty big excuse-maker if it turns out that I messed up. That seems silly now. In this situation, the superintendent owned up and helped relieve tense feelings. If he would’ve sent an email with a bunch of excuses, I know I would’ve just felt even more frustrated. I’m going to spend the rest of the day ingraining this into my memory so that my behavior can be different in the future.
As my 5th grade teacher liked to say, excuses are like armpits…we all have them and they all stink.