Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Enter nature!

    I was thinking, before Hurricane Irene blew through, that we could use the strategies for “hurricane days” that we have used for “snow days.”  For snow days, we post assignments, links and resources on the class webpage, while letting students and parents know the assignments are there and that the work is expected. 

    I forgot that snow days don’t usually mess with electricity.  Hurricanes do.

    It’s Day 3 without electricity, with no end in sight.  Hard to ask students to get on the internet to get access to school-work when they have no electricity to run their computer, and may also not have the DSL or cable or fiber optic cable or even telephone for their Internet service either.  I have DSL at home, but a faulty generator, so can’t use it there.   

    I’m typing this sitting at McDonald’s using their wonderful free wifi, eating a hot breakfast.  Thank you, McDonald’s!   Given the number of downed trees that still haven’t been cleared, I don’t think I can expect parents to drive their kids to the local wifi spot for them.  I teach at a private school, where kids come from roughly half of one state and even from an adjacent state. 

    The school doesn’t have power either – and we are discovering how hard it is to communicate the message “no school today” to people without phones, electricity, internet, TV – or even a portable radio.   I was kind of hoping for school today – at least to have access to running water.  (Those of us who live in the country get our water from wells – which are pumped with – you guessed it – electricity.)

    Humbling, isn’t it?  Mother Nature: 1, school: 0.  We will have lots to write about though, once we get back. 

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