Snow Days of February!

For many of New England public school teachers and students, we’re on to day #4 of the weekend of Nemo’s storm, and sadly I didn’t even watch Finding Nemo with all my new-found free time.  However, somebody else did channel their creative energies appropriately:

Take a look at this super short YouTube gem making fun of how New Englanders react to impending snow storms from Vic Dibitetto :)

 

Senior students here at SC spent all day Sunday trying to rescue our cars from the Townhouse parking lot, passing around a mere handful of shovels.  Luckily, my guy roommates are hockey fanatics and had a good shovel they’d used when skating on the Massasoit.  After getting Kristie’s big Jeep out in a matter of minutes, one roommate dug out the snow that blocked Rhonda in, while I scooped snow on the sides that was up to the door handles down to underneath the car.  I only stalled 14 times while finally attempting to get out of the spot, and it only took a 20-point turn to back into the parking space again!  Over an hour later, it was a total success!

The “before” and “after” :)

Later that night as I walked back from work in the Writing Center (where obviously the line was out the door with students who wanted help on papers………), I was shocked to find that the Jeep parked next to me had kindly displaced the snow that blocked them in right behind Rhonda.  I grabbed the shovel, and 15 minutes later, the green beast was freed again..

There are currently huge mounds of snow all over the parking lot, and the parking lot had a lot of scenes like this yesterday:

I know that it’s bad karma to chuckle at those slip and slides, but come on!!!

Hope everybody without power gets it back soon, and that there are as few accidents as possible.  I can’t wait to get to the grocery store this afternoon; my meals of soup and crackers this weekend just aren’t cutting it!  Stay warm :)

shoveling-snow-driveway-justification-face-seasonal-ecards-someecards

Response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

If you haven’t seen the below video, please watch:


I think I’ve watched this video a dozen times now, and I have yet to make it through without crying.

Teaching is not supposed to be a dangerous profession, schools should not be dangerous places, nor, at any age, should it be dangerous to be a student.

Kaitlin Roig, featured in the above video after the elementary school shooting, acted on absolutely heroic instincts in her classroom, as did Vicki Soto, a teacher who was shot and killed in the school.  Reports from ABC News describe how Vicki Soto was protecting her students in the classroom down to their very last seconds, placing herself between her students and the gunman, trying to shield them.  All semester long in my Teaching Methods course here at SC with Dr. Zukergood, my classmates and I have been working to find our ways on the difficult path to becoming extraordinary teachers.  The above video and accounts from the tragedy show how teaching is so much more than a 40-hour per week profession.

Extraordinary teachers like Vicki Soto and Kaitlin Roig do not go into the teaching field for the timely breaks and vacations; they are teachers because they love their students.  Teachers save the lives of students everyday, whether in a very real, literal sense as understood above, but also by being listening ears, sources of advice and guidance.

Elena Gasparri, one of my friends and another English teacher-to-be, wrote, “I hope I never have to fully understand what those teachers endured today, but I have never been so inspired. Those teachers are the definition of extraordinary.”

The outward ripple effects from tragedies such as this shooting in Newtown, CT (only 20 minutes away from my hometown) are enormous.  In the 24 hours that have passed, I have seen countless posts and statuses from friends who were camp counselors in that area, have cousins in that town, or are empathetic supporters to all the parents, teachers, friends, etc. who have been deeply affected.  It’s horrible to read and watch.  President Obama rightly stated, “We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years.”

Pic from MSNBC.com

Pic from MSNBC.com

How do we stop these shootings?  Experts advise to stop calling them random.  Like the shooting of students, teachers, and professionals in Sandy Hook Elementary School of Newtown, tragic events like these are often not a result of snap behavior.  Rather, often times, the person has made comments or shown signs of disturbance which were ignored.  Take people seriously, take appropriate actions to ensure their safety and that of others.

Of everything I’ve read, I think Kim Abad, another of my friends, said it best: “the actions of these teachers saved many lives. As horrifying as it is, it is an inspiring story to hear as an up-and-coming teacher. This event does not scare me from the profession. Rather, it makes me thankful that I will be part of an amazing profession that can make such a difference in so many lives. My heart goes out to those families and friends of anyone who is affected by this tragic event.”

Found on Facebook

Found on Facebook