Snow Days, Sexy Sadie, and cheating on tests

High winds and low temperatures this morning meant that buses weren’t running, and that my kid got his first snow day. I was surprised actually, because this ‘storm’ wasn’t nearly as bad as some I remember as a child.

It seems that we have become chickens when it comes to our winters. I remember a time where the snowbanks were so high that we were forbidden to touch the bottom power line. Nowadays there is barely enough snow to block the driveway, however people complain just as if it were the old days. There is no pleasing people.

When we were lucky enough to get a snow day when I was a kid, it was a SNOW day. Visibility had to be nil to even consider keeping a kid home, and those days hold their own memories in my mind.

Without telephone services in our area (we were REALLY rural), the only way we knew school was cancelled was if the bus didn’t come up. Either that or check the road. Seeing how the only road into the community had many steep hills and no pavement, any bit of ice meant the bus would either be late or not come up at all.

After mom made her ‘no school’ judgement, we weren’t long to come in, dress real warm, grab our toboggans or Krazy Karpets (no spelling errors on that one) and head for the nearest hill. My kid is sitting in front of the television playing his video games. Apparently those days, kids aren’t as ‘tough’ as we were, and wouldn’t go outside in the cold if their lives depended on it. Actually, I wouldn’t allow him out either. What were our parents thinking?

Having a snow day on Monday meant twice as much homework on Tuesday. Nowadays there are so many rules in schools that teachers wouldn’t dare such a thing, but I remember on one occasion where we had three snow days in a row and our teacher must have got bored at home, so when we came to school on Wednesday, we had a pop quiz.

Speaking of quizzes, this is where school changed most. Back in the day if you wrote a test and did poorly, you failed and that was that. Nowadays if you fail a test, you have as many opportunities to redo the test as you want. They have even changed how they deal with cheaters. If a kid cheated on you when I was a kid, they got a smack across the knuckles with a yard stick or even worst, THE STRAP! Nowadays if a kid is caught cheating, they are given as many opportunities to redo the test as they want to. Talk about punishment.

I remember Single Sadie. She used to sit next to me in grade school. Man, she had this odor about her that made me want to vomit. Every time we had a test, she would get real close. At one point I thought she was going to kiss me, so I threw up. I really did. Anyway I eventually got fed up of holding my breath while writing a test, so I came up with a plan.

I did the test, and I didn’t even block her view. In fact, from time to time I actually leaned back, pretending to be frustrated, and then proceeded to write my answers on my test paper….the wrong answers. If the question asked the square root of 95, I wrote ‘the cat has a long tail’. If the test asked who the main character in the story was, I wrote ‘Sylvester the cat and Tweety’. You get the picture.

Anyway, Single Sadie (this nickname because nobody ever sat next to her on purpose) soaked it all up, and copied every word. The next day we were both in the principal’s office. I was questioned to why I copied her test, when all she wrote was nonsense. Having fairly good grades compared to hers, my response that she copied mine was believed totally by the principal. She got twelve straps on each hand and I got ten. When I asked (while crying and screaming in pain) why I got any straps at all, I was told it was because I didn’t snitch on her right away and because I came up with this dishonest method of dealing with the issue. No fair!

I managed to get out of grade school without too many straps. As for Single Sadie, eventually she found a cure for her B.O. problem and went on to be a very hot high school girl…who never cheated on any of my tests again…You may think it was because she learned her lesson. This isn’t so. Truth is, looking the way she did in high school granted her to choose which guy would give her test answers…another story for another day. She dumped the nick of Single Sadie, and went on to be Sexy Sadie.

As for my kid, he is overjoyed to have the day off school. He is already looking at the weather forecast and wondering if maybe he could also stay home tomorrow….some things never change.

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