It snowed yesterday coating the yard (and everything else) with a fresh coat of white powder. It is beautiful. I looked back in time and last year we hardly had any snow, less than 5 inches had fallen for the 2012-13 season. So far, we have 52 inches and the forecast calls for snow Tuesday and again, Saturday. I think it has all fallen here. I was talking to another teacher after school Friday and we both got to laughing about a joke letter that we had seen years ago. My mother in law sent it to me when we bought the house and I had to learn to shovel snow. I don’t remember how much snow fell that winter, but I do remember feeling a love-hate relationship with snow when March rolled around. I have since lost the original, it was grainy from being copied repeatedly, but thanks to the internet most things worthwhile (appropriate and inappropriate) can be found with relative ease. Here it is, Diary of a Snow Shoveler.
My Super Bowl predictions haven’t been so super and I have losing streak running back to 2009 when I last rooted for the winning team.
XLVII San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens – rooted for 49ers, Ravens won 34-31
XLVI New England Patriots vs. New York Giants – rooted for Patriots, Giant won 21-17
XLV Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers – rooted for Steelers, Packers won 31-25
Of course, my hometown team, the Houston Oilers, never made it to a Super Bowl, they came close in 1978 and even closer in ’79. But, when the Super Bowl rolled around I had to watch someone else’s teams play. I moved away from Houston in ’87 and the Oilers moved to Tennessee in the late ‘90s. When they moved, they left me behind. I miss the Oilers’ Columbia blue and white uniforms. I landed in the Chicago area in the early ‘90s and still can’t root for the Bears. Just can’t.
B found an article in Sports Illustrated about Peyton Manning and passed it on to me. It was the issue naming him Sportsman of the Year. I read it last night and found it interesting. I am a Peyton fan and have been since he played in college. I’ll be rooting for him today; I hope I break my streak. Go Broncos! I am done with the Super Bowl hype, the matchups, the interviews, and the predictions. Bring on the game.
Tomorrow is Monday, it usually follows Sunday, and my students have forgotten what it feels like to be at school on a Monday. They haven’t been at school on a Monday since December. We have two bad weather days, MLK’s birthday, and a teacher workday (at the end of the semester) to soak up Mondays. We joked about keeping the streak alive, but we’ll be at school tomorrow.
At school in ELA (English Language Arts), we are reading Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Red-Headed League. I’ve read it many times and I know the story well. Friday after school, I dropped into one of my colleague’s room to talk and we talked about how our students are struggling with the text. They are reading it, but they don’t understand what is happening in the story. I can’t say that I blame them; on the surface the story doesn’t make much sense. But, Sherlock sees and understands in ways that others do not, especially seventh graders. The story is about a man, Jabez Wilson, who shows up in Holmes’ office complaining that the Red-Headed League had closed unexpectedly. Holmes ‘quick eye’ takes him and he deduces that there is something more sinister at hand than a silly story about copying the Encyclopedia Britannica from 10-2 each day. Wilson’s explains that he is losing £4 each week and implores Holmes to discover what happened. I am not going to spoil the story for you, but there is more to the story. When I first read the story I asked myself, how much is £4 worth? £4 in 1890 would be equal to $300-400, a fair amount of money, and a good distraction. Usually when we get to the middle of the story, at least one of my students will have discovered the value of £4, not this year, at least not yet. I am keeping my mouth shut and letting them figure it out on their own. I’ll let the pot simmer a little bit, and hope they get curious.
In the meantime, I have quizzes to correct, lessons to plan, and an Ancient Egyptian paper about hieroglyphics to help O revise. The world will come to a stop later this afternoon and we’ll have our own Super Bowl party, in house. O found her Bronco and Seahawk McToys and created a flyer for the big game. Today is gonna be a great day, I know it and can feel it. In some ways it already is, I just hope that it ends that way. But, regardless, I had better jump up, jump in, and seize the day, lest it get away from me. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one moment, one quarter, one chicken wing, one Super Bowl commercial at a time.
Are you going to tune it today? Or tune out?