Kids these days will never know the real struggle of a one-hour delay.
I didn’t walk to school in the snow or biting rain — both ways up a hill with an orphan on my back.
But I do recall the good ol’ days when my twin sister and I would gather around the television and patiently wait for the ‘M’ to scroll around for a delay or school closing during a winter event. One would always had a favorite station, the one that would seem to have the announcement up on the screen first.
One would also have to have laser like focus so you wouldn’t miss your school and have to endure the wait for another three critical minutes.
We would square our shoulders, cross our fingers and say a prayer of “please, please, please” right around when Marion Local in Mercer County and Mechanicsburg Exempted Village in Champaign County popped up on the screen.
Kids these days will never truly know that spark of joy watching, waiting for “Your School District — CLOSED” to appear — or the soul crushing disappointment when your school’s name never shows up.
Nor will they understand the anticipation that awaits the next morning to see if the powers that be had changed their minds overnight. Or lingering inside the house in the early morning hours with your hand on the door knob, hoping that maybe they were late getting the notice up on television.
And then the crushing realization that the bus was coming around the bend. Your heart would sink at the sight of the yellow glow of chicken lights coming west to pick you up because it was true — school would go on.
You also learned to hold certain weight with other rival schools, knowing that if they closed or were on delay, it was almost certain you would be, too.
And if your mathematical calculation was incorrect, something had to have gone awry somewhere to have not been on the same delay or closing schedule as those schools. Impossible. And, as the intelligent grade school student (or parent) that you were down right bitter about it most of the day. Like, how could they do that to us when that other was closed! It was insulting.
Remember, these were the times way before the Internet and the now standard One Call Now notifications.
The television closing and delay schedules have been replaced by cheerful phone messages with creative flare to inform parents and children of their fate.
At least that’s how it is in my son’s school district.
Our district’s high school principal has jazzed up the two hour delays and school closing messages to the tune of 1990s rap classics such as “Ice, Ice Baby” or my favorite collaboration of Jimmy Buffet’s tropical song titles riddled through the school closing message.
“What did he mean by cheeseburger in paradise come Monday? That doesn’t even make sense,” Evan asked.
So young. So, so young.
Now that the entire district is on the same schedule, kids will never know the one-hour delay heartache that once was. Sure, it allowed more time for student drivers to get to school safely, but you were always hoping that it would be extended to that comfy two-hour time frame or close altogether.
The struggle is real folks.
All in all, no matter how creative or straightforward delay and school closing messages are in Miami County, I do acknowledge and appreciate the early morning hours district superintendents must rise and begin the decision making process.
But, come Monday, it’ll be alright.
“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. No one likes two hour delays more than she does.