Chaos Theory

SMUS-Views-Bob

Fortunately I am an early riser anyway, so when the forecast suggests snow it is no inconvenience at all to look outside and check the conditions. There’s not much chance I will forget to check; usually the day before students will start asking me what the chances are, or even trying to persuade me that I may as well call it now, since the forecasts seem so certain. My experience is that weather websites are not necessarily accurate, and I do ponder frequently that “chaos theory”, which has been influential in shaping all kinds of thinking about how people and various earthly phenomena behave, emerged from a study of weather. Radio and television presenters are less reliable than websites; they seem compelled to add melodrama to any forecast, under the guise of preparing people for the worst, I suppose. But the reality is that I don’t have a lot of influence on whether it’s a snow day or not. The decision is mainly made by our bus drivers. If the roads are passable, then school is on, and if the buses can’t manage the roads, then it’s a snow day. The buses go out around 6:30 am, so I am usually on the phone before that to our Bus Supervisor, and then the word spreads amazingly quickly.

Looking out now, the snow has almost entirely vanished under the pressure of rain and warmth, and one is tempted to think that all that snow was a hallucination. But I have proof: below is a picture of me leaving Reynolds House to head to my office first thing Thursday morning, after the snow day had been announced. An hour later, with a bit more light, the School was postcard beautiful. Business as usual today, of course.

Heading to the office Thursday morning. Things were pretty quiet!
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Bob Snowden
Bob Snowden was Head of School at St. Michaels University School for 22 years, from 1995-2017.

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