GRAVES:The early arrival of spring, even faux summer, has superintendent sweating out some concernsI have genuinely been trying to turn over a new leaf on one of my attitudes of late. Whenever I see something negative, I always try to find something good about it. That attitude is just fine. But, on the flip side, whenever something positive happens, I have this nasty tendency to wonder just what the cloud is that this silver lining is delineating. Do that enough and you start to become something of a pessimist.
By: Joe Graves, The Daily Republic
I have genuinely been trying to turn over a new leaf on one of my attitudes of late. Whenever I see something negative, I always try to find something good about it. That attitude is just fine. But, on the flip side, whenever something positive happens, I have this nasty tendency to wonder just what the cloud is that this silver lining is delineating. Do that enough and you start to become something of a pessimist.
Thus, as I step outside each morning on my way to work, I have been trying to tell myself to quash the anxiety and just enjoy a spring truly untrammeled by snow, cold, and ice. And it is working … to a limited degree. But can 80 degree days in March really come with no catch? Can we South Dakotans really have gorgeous days in a month so often characterized by on-again, off-again blizzards? Can spring, which always for us comes far after the calendar suggests really have come this year weeks and weeks ahead of the calendar demarcation?
But what, you might ask, could be the catch to such an early spring? To my gloom-ensconced mind, the possibilities are endless. Perhaps winter weather is still ahead and it will bear down on us, killing every flower and withering every prematurely budding tree. Perhaps it will lull me into believing that I need worry about no more school cancellations this year, thereby catching me off-guard and our buses axle-deep in drifts.
Or perhaps, spring fever and senioritis will strike students not weeks ahead of the school year’s end this year but quite literally months. (That rumble you just felt was no geological seismic event but rather the collective and simultaneous shudder of every teacher and principal in Mitchell and beyond.) As human beings become increasingly free of their bondage to weather and climate, there is a tendency to believe that the weather no longer really matters to modern humans or that its hold on us is really only relevant during weather extremes.
Those who work with children will tell you that while this may or may not be true for adults, it is most certainly not true of children. Grade school teachers can tell you well in advance of an approaching storm, of a change in the barometer, or just a ripple in the jet stream.
While my connection to the students these teachers instruct is much less direct, in truth, I can often times feel the same thing just walking through the buildings. Things are more “energetic,” children more talkative and less able to deal with the typical vagaries of life. Student behavior is just a bit on edge. I have had seasoned elementary teachers tell me on many occasions that they don’t need a calendar to tell you when the next full moon will be rising.
In the early days of my career, I pooh-poohed such talk but I have frankly heard and experienced it just too often to not give it some credence. And so I wonder. Will a really early, really beautiful spring (almost a faux summer) mean a spring fever among students of unprecedented proportions?
Given the generally responsible attitude of our students, the skills of our teachers and the good school climate, I doubt it.
But if our beautiful weather continues, I suppose we will all find out together.