To Every New England College and Undergraduate School,
I understand the logic behind this new outlook on snow days, ever since this seemingly brand new world of taking in-person learning and flipping the switch to online education became a thing early on in 2020. I even understand the long-term thought process in switching to a day of online classes instead of a day of canceled classes to ensure that you're not stuck in a classroom until the 4th of July.
But just because the option is available, doesn't mean that it should be automatically exercised.
Full disclosure, this letter was inspired by a Tweet I saw from my alma mater, Curry College, last night. And for the record, I'm not bashing them in the least -- my absolute happiest years were, and quite possibly will forever be, the four that I spent on that campus just south of Boston.
But that said, it doesn't mean I have to agree with this Tweet.
And at the risk of upsetting an alma mater I still love and care for deeply, I responded without hesitation.
Obviously, because it was a Tweet, I had to err on the side of word economy. But let me explain a bit more at what my point in that response was.
...as each day passes in our youth, we take one step away from carefree freedom and one step closer to being owned by 'The Man.'
Assuming someone follows the stereotypical path that life lays out for us at the start, we have 21-22 years of "childhood." Barely over two decades where, yes, as each year passes, we slowly are given more and more responsibility and lose more and more freedom. Not to come off super dark or depressing, but the fact of the matter is, as each day passes in our youth, we take one step away from carefree freedom and one step closer to being owned by 'The Man.'
Next year, the retirement age in the United States is going to be raised to 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later, and let's face it -- it's only going to increase from there. So, to use a nice round number, give or take we'll be working for 50 years of our lives before retiring. 50 years. Quite possibly over half of our lives will be spent working at least 40 hours a week, having minimal time for our personal lives and our families.
If you ask me (and even if you don't, you'll get my answer regardless), spending five decades on conference calls, in meetings, on Zoom calls -- let's face it, all of which could probably be handled with an email -- is more than enough time to experience all of that. Current students will have plenty of time in the future to cross all of that off their bucket list.
Forget switching from in-person learning to online classes because of snow or dangerous roadways. Give them their day off. Give the grossly underpaid teachers their day off. Give them all their snow day and let teachers catch their breath while allowing students to live carefree while they still can.
Because let's face it, even if you're ridiculously successful and Jeff Bezos kinds of rich -- at the end of the day, you'd give anything to be a kid again, right?