Marie Antoinette's pastry slave (mark356) wrote,
Marie Antoinette's pastry slave
mark356

snow

It is now Nagano's turn to get a lot of snow. Nagano is indeed famous for mountains and snow, but I live in a valley in between mountains. The mountains usually catch all the snow before it can get here, so even though it gets cold, we don't usually get much snow.

Until Saturday, that is. This Saturday, the skies opened up, and 70 cm came down. That's about two feet. It's tall enough so that people had to carve little paths through it. The snowdrifts are taller than I am.

Naturally, the whole city shut down. I was scheduled to give a speech, but it was cancelled, because no one could get to the venue. I went to the supermarket, being incredibly grateful that there was one within a few hundred meters of me (it only took me two or three times longer than normal to get there) and it was a total warzone inside-- absolutely nothing left. No fresh vegetables, not even cabbage, only a few packs of strawberries left, almost no natto, no tofu, no onigiri, no baked goods-- massive bare shelves, since everyone had got terrified and bought everything, and the trucks couldn't get there to restock.

I was fairly sure when I went to bed yesterday that in the morning, I'd get a call saying that it was a snow day, but no such call came, so I went to school at the normal time. Thankfully, most of the sidewalks already had paths carved out, so I was able to get to school. When I got there, all of the teachers were outside, with shovels.

It turned out that today was a snow day for the students. My city never gets this much snow, so the roads were pretty much undriveable, and the buses were deemed unsafe. This doesn't matter for the teachers, though; we are contractually obligated to either come to school or use vacation days. Road conditions were so bad that some teachers ddin't get to school until 9:30 (their contracts say 8:00). When they did, I clapped and cheered for them with the rest of the teachers by the gate. The work that needed to be done was clearing the snow so that the students would be able to come tomorrow. Hence everyone out there with shovels.

As is, tomorrow is the same: they decided at about noon that the buses still wouldn't be safe tomorrow, so it's another snow day for the students, and teachers are welcome to take one of their vacation days. I can't very well take a vacation day, because I've already taken a lot, and I'll take more when I travel during the spring break (that's a week between the semesters when the students do not come to school but the teachers must take vacation days if they want the time off).

I am somewhat grateful for the snow day. I have 4 elementary school visits next week that I'm barely prepared for at all, and this does give me more time to get ready for them. But I do wish that after I finish the work, I'd be allowed to come home!
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