Snow days

The front gates after a November snow fall

A few readers of this blog in much warmer climates will be happy to experience it vicariously, through the reports of others.

To the chagrin of a couple of students I passed in the hall, the timing of this snow just isn’t quite right for a snow day on Monday. But you never know. Especially for students from other, more southern countries, this first snow of the year may well be the first snow of their lives. It is hard to predict how much snow we will get. It is raining now, and windy enough – from the southeast, the direction of the stormiest wind in winter in Victoria – to blow through the seals in the windows of my office. The wind is supposed to turn and come from the north, the temperature is supposed to drop, and the rain is supposed to turn to snow over night. But if the rain doesn’t turn to snow, then all this anticipation will have been for naught.

There is definite anticipation in the air, the anticipation of awakening to the school transformed. If such is the case, these students will remember it, I am sure. Some of them will get out on the field and mould their first snowmen, snow angels or snowballs. The forecast is for continued cold for four or five days, so the snow may stay, but by Monday the roads will have long been cleared, and all the students who arrive – especially in the Senior School, to write exams – will gaze wistfully at the snow day that might have been.

Having grown up in central Canada, my first memories of snow are lost in the blur of childhood. I can certainly remember plenty of snowy days from as far back as my memory allows, and probably the earliest is of the snow around a backyard rink that must have been about 12 feet square, in a house I lived in until I was five. But I can’t pin down the exact winter of that skating memory.

We’ll see how memorable tonight’s snow is.

Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.


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