Kate McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: sNo Days Off

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

It’s 7:15 a.m., and you are awoken only to be told that school is cancelled because of the snow. The look in your eyes screams excitement and a huge smile forms on your face, just moments before you doze off a bit more. It’s now 7:45 a.m.—only 30 minutes have passed, and you can no longer sleep. The anticipation to play in the snow has completely taken control of all of your senses and blurred your mind. Oh, the joy that snow days bring to children—correction; oh, the joy that snow days used to bring to children.

What a wonderful time it is to be a child during this pandemic. Snow days should not be a nostalgic recollection and yet...for those of us who have experienced them, the time has come to say goodbye to that idea. No seriously, my five-year-old cousins have the privilege to get a head start in understanding what will ultimately become very familiar: our workaholic culture. 

To young children and the generations after them, I would like to formally apologize in advance for what you will be missing out on. You will not get to experience arguably the best childhood memories: recreating scenes from the books teachers read to you about snow, creating your own snowman from Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, or Frosty the Snowman, or Olaf from the movie Frozen, and creating your own winter wonderland

Snow days off from school have already become “no days off” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to technology, and specifically Zoom, for officially catalyzing our descent into a dystopian nightmare that anyone who has watched the movie WALL-E is all too familiar with. It’s not like our society needed to become any more technologically-advanced or virtually-based than it already was. In fact, at the rate we are going, it is clear the warnings from WALL-E have been long ignored. The switch to an online-based, work-centric world is already underway. Next up, the scene in WALL-E where humans are in space, sitting in chairs with screens in front of their faces, and never moving. Oh wait, part of that already exists: children sitting in front of their school iPads, too attached to get up or listen to a single word you’ve said to them because they are being taught to sit down, sit still, watch, and listen to their teachers on Zoom.

Temptation creeps up on children’s minds as they sit in front of a screen, only to see snow falling from the view of the window beside them. Even worse, the snow becomes a distraction, and so the curtain is closed—now they are cut off from even that! Just keep working little ones; this workaholic culture is something you will have to get used to, and what better time to start than now?

The new generations to come will likely never experience snow days for the rest of their academic careers. Scary, right? But hey, who needs a day off anyways? That’s what Friday nights, Saturdays, and maybe the first hours of Sundays are for, because after all, we all know Sundays are a procrastinator's most dreaded days. To procrastinators out there, be ready to no longer "sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride" of pushing off all of your work after seeing heavy snowfall on the weather app on your phone. To help, I recommend repeating the following mantra in your head: “I cannot count on having a snow day. Zoom University awaits me. I need to work now, not later.”

Snow days were arguably the best days for children growing up in the Northeast. These sporadic days came at the most desirable and most needed moments. Building snowmen, coming in for some hot cocoa—all of this is no longer attainable. Yes, there’s the benefit of getting out earlier in the summer, but there truly is nothing like anticipating snowfall, believing in the myth of putting a spoon beneath your pillow, and just praying that school will be cancelled so you can play all day.

To everyone devastated by this news, remember to take a deep breath, get on Zoom, keep working, and don’t stop. The world of WALL-E awaits us all.

International Studies major and Spanish minor with a passion for dancing and coffee.