Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Weather Report: Reality or Myth - The Anticipation

It first showed up more than a week ago; the potential of rain. When there is rain in the forecast everyone here is glued to their weather app. It was forecast for Saturday night. We were set to go camping Friday and Saturday (our weekend). Rain is such a rarity that we don't have camping gear for it here, (as opposed to our camping gear in Seattle - rain/shmain). Knowing that a forecast is a moveable target that far out, I was just hoping it didn't creep up into our camping trip.

As we packed the car Thursday night the rain had been pushed into Sunday. Phew!

Often rain disappears from the forecast completely or diminishes to a 10 - 20% chance, which are not odds worth playing. When we got back from our time at Wahbah Crater the rain was still in the forecast, now for Monday night. Not only was it still in the forecast, but it was spread across many hours and with a 60 - 90% chance. I'll take those odds!

We don't get snow days here. An inch of rain annually is a strong dose. Our best chance of a day off, due to weather, is a heavy rain that is timed just right so that the transportation department decides it isn't going to send the buses out. The possibility had the teachers a buzz.

"Now it says the rain will last until 4 a.m."
"My app says 5!"

"We probably need it an hour past that, though." [sigh]

And so it went, but I have to admit, I figured it was wishful thinking. We also had a thunderstorm forecast for during the school day. Sure enough, on the way to school our usually vibrant blue sky was filtered by a blanket of clouds. The lighting in the classroom felt off as the sun couldn't be found. As we settled into Writing Workshop I promised my writers that if they focused on their writing, I would keep an eye on what was happening outside. If rain fell, and they could line up silently, we would sneak out of the building and enjoy it.

There's the proof! We were all excited for the few drops. After about ten minutes we snuck back into our room and continued with our writing. Surprisingly, it continued to rain. As you can see, this outside area is mostly covered so when it came time for recess, they headed out. The ground was wet and the sky (and roof) were dripping, but physical exercise is a great thing for the brain.

Then the fire alarm went off. I left the task I was trying to accomplish while they were out of the room and headed out the door to join my students (who were all lined up where they were supposed to be when I arrived). The volume was a bit louder than normal, but since they were squatting above puddles of water AND getting splashed on their heads, it was to be expected.


Comparing weather apps after school we knew there was a slight chance of the confluence of events that could lead to not having to go to school in the morning. I put a little extra work in my bag, locked the Chromebook cart, grabbed my abaya, and headed home with a bit of hope.

It is amazing what the anticipation of a possible day off school can do. Unfortunately it is not the same as a known day off school and the evening's chores still have to be done as the alarm will go off in the morning.

Turns out that my daughter did not share in our anticipation as she had big plans for school the next day. While visions of her next library book danced through her dreams, I was thrilled when the call came in saying that the Minister of Education had cancelled all school for the following day. I turned my alarm off and crawled into bed, only to be awoken by water dripping on my bed.

I hadn't anticipated a night of moving buckets, changing towels, and having no bed to sleep in that didn't have a leaky ceiling above it. A day off; the myth can be better than the reality.


  1. I forgot how scarce rain was in your part of the world. Oh, how different that is from here.

  2. Oh, the anticipation of a day off school! I'm sad that yours included a leaky roof. I smiled when you mentioned putting a little extra work in your bag. I still remember the year we had a doozy of a snowstorm (I think we missed three days) and I made my husband drive me down to school to retrieve shoebox projects so I could grade them. Glad you were thinking ahead.