By Louisa Benatovich
The moment the announcements crackled on, it was like Ellicottville Central School turned off.
As Superintendent Robert Miller’s tenor tones echoed through the sound system, you could hear a pin drop.
The news arrived: due to imminent weather conditions, the school would be closed for not one, but two snow days. A deafening cheer erupted across the campus.
Akin to a national event, if you asked any student, they could tell you exactly where they were when they heard the news.
I remember where I was: deep in the throes of a torturous set of burpees.
In Mrs. Neilon’s Fitness for Life Class, we were sampling a brand new workout video. It was hosted by a trainer with muscular dystrophy in her calves. The detail is just strange enough for me not to forget it.
I was delirious after tens of up-and-downs, up-and-downs. I didn’t believe it. It was a lie. Ellicottville Central School never does snow days. But too many people were cheering. It had to be true.
Then came the dilemma. An entire school full of children and teens with 48 hours of pure freedom. Whatever would they do? Somehow, our industrious students found a way to fill their time.
“Yes,” exclaimed Meganne Chapman after the announcements. “I now have more time to work on my scholarships.”
“Oh, rats, our calculus test is put off,” said Abby Sonnenberg, sarcastically. We convinced ourselves we’d use the snow days to study.
As schools all around us began to close, the day got more and more magical.
“I played video games for two straight days,” said Adam Silvernail the day we arrived back at school.
Many others sung to that tune, with VR headsets being whipped out, meet-ups planned and Doritos purchased.
Other chose to watch movies and do a bit of house cleaning. The bravest chose to ski and snowboard, but the biting cold was enough to stifle the engines of most cars and owners.
All in all, the snow day was a needed break, a lovely gift. It existed for safety, sleeping-in and snuggling under a warm blanket.
Thankfully, we all had warm places to be.
Then came Friday morning. Life was back to normal again, almost as chilling as the outside air’s 3-degree temperature.
There is hope, though. The groundhog didn’t see his shadow.