February 2017 ( super creative title up there huh?)
I really don’t know the history or “real” reason behind we, in New England, have a February vacation week. And, to be frank, I don’t even care what it is. I’m just SUPER HAPPY FOR IT!
I know, I know, we just had a break less than 2 months ago. And yes, I know, we have had 2 snow days and 3 delayed starts in the past 10 school days. BUT STILL, this vacation is much needed- if for nothing more than a break from the craziness that starts to spread in the school during the cold weather months.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I have researched the origins, (as any self respecting history teacher/google worshipper would of course do) and nobody seems to have a legit answer. There have been theories– save oil during war/ oil crisis by not heating schools; blizzard conditions prevented travel in February so often it just became a “thing” blah blah blah… nobody seems to know!
I do, however, have my own theory:
By the end of January, we hit the mid-year mark, and then it begins, kids become suddenly “too cool” for school, their friends, for EVERYTHING. And then others- who literally lose their common sense. Ahhh the feels of being surrounded by adolescent awesomeness…. The. Feels. ( this is a new expression Ginny & Mom, look it up here)
Allow me to take a trip down memory lane, and I will be able to explain to you why, in fact, we have February vacation……….. ( way too many periods here, trying to go for subtle dramatic pause)
Growing up with my beloved brothers, and their super amazing friends who seemed to live at my house… I’ve witnessed events such as: homemade bombs going off in the backyard (with the alleged bombers, now eyebrow-less, holding a black pail of sand to “put out the fire”); potato launchers aimed at the neighbor’s “pig” lawn ornament, while said neighbor is home, AND has a clear view into our back yard AND of aforementioned launcher; a stash of street signs in the garage, and the proper tools for acquiring these in the trunks of many a family car. All of these sightings seem to beg for an answer to “WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!” Perfectly normal, intelligent kids losing common sense… what happened? When did this happen?! WHAT THE WHAT?!
Well, my discovery came in February of 2006- right before Feb. vacation. I am here to tell you, ladies and ladies, that this life altering phenomena – that MOST people grow out of
hopefully eventually- occurs in February of the 7th grade year.
Ah… yes, I remember it well. My first year teaching in 7th grade- calling my mom about 2 days before February vacation began and declaring “I know! The mystery has been solved!” In the three days of that school week so far, I had experienced the following:
- a student who tried to maintain steady eye contact with me while throwing a piece of paper at the person to his left – What? What did I do? (doesn’t understand the concept of peripheral vision suddenly?)
- one who said that the illustrations in a video of the first Olympics weren’t “realistic”
- another who proposed that the Ancient Greeks were “stupid” for “doing all that running when they could have just sent an email about the battle plan” ( I pointed out/ reminded this student that this was pre-electricity and his response was – So?! Wifi is wireless!”)
- three students trying to have a paper airplane FLYING CONTEST in class – and who were SHOCKED that I had a problem with this ( AND WTH was I doing that I didn’t see them MAKING said airplanes?! sheesh)
- and a student who was LITERALLY TYING HIS OWN SHOES TOGETHER TO SEE HOW IT WOULD IMPACT HIS WALK TO THE PENCIL SHARPENER (I did see this, questioned him, and thus found out why he was doing this. Also see video tutorial here if you want to know how to do this)
SOOOOOOO, yep! I can now tell you -after too many years of experience- it gets worse in 8th grade- it just grows upon the base it made in 7th grade.
And thus, I figured it out. Loss of common sense= Middle School. And with that discovery, another. THIS, my friends, is why we have February Vacation:
- to give the late bloomers a chance to catch up with their peers
- to give those who know and love these adorable early teens a chance to mourn the loss of ration that no longer will exist in their relationships with these beings
- and to allow those who deal with this “species” on a daily basis a chance to prepare for the upcoming days, weeks and months of mayhem ahead. And for those of you in this spot, good luck!
Well, regardless of the reason, I’m sad to say that February Vaca 2017 has come, and is nearly passed… At least I have accomplished exactly ONE blog post, corrected an unknown number of civics projects, enjoyed record breaking high temperatures, painted some furniture and watched an OBSCENE amount of HGTV and Food Network. I’m regrouped and ready as I will ever be. Tomorrow, its back to the crazy.
pps- So why, is February a vaca a phenom mostly reserved for the New England states? Are we the only region in the country with this issue, you ask? Nope. We’re just the smartest- we have self preservation and winning life in mind- I mean, this happened. #justsaying Oh and #GOAT too since I went there.