The ‘Wimpification of America? Sure.
Bill Quick

School Wasn’t Canceled for Bad Weather in 1882 – Eleanor Barkhorn – The Atlantic

Anyone with a grandparent who reminisces about walking five miles to school, uphill both ways, knows that people sometimes exaggerate the hardships they faced in their youth. Still, we can trust the basic facts about life a century and a half ago: School was open, even the day after a snowstorm. Getting to school was very difficult without the technologies we have now. School was cold once you got there. And, yes, by comparison, today we’re all wimps.

And I guess I’m one of those “grand-geezers” with similar memories. As a pre-teen I delivered 80-some newspapers at 5AM in the dark, with a foot of snow on the ground and more coming down, and my snot freezing solid on the muffler I had wrapped across my face. Then I walked to school.

I’ve given it some thought, and I can’t recall school ever being closed for winter weather when I was in grade or junior high school.  It may have happened, but I really don’t remember it.


Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


The ‘Wimpification of America? Sure. — 4 Comments

  1. I cannot remember ever missing school because of weather. It was far enough away that we rode buses, with chains on the wheels if necessary. Appalachian mountains of PA where 12″ of snow overnight was a dusting.

  2. In North Carolina, a major snowstorm would cause the bus riders to be a bit late as I recall. It was so seldom an issue there was no need to stockpile equipment for snow.

    Cold weather, that’s almost silly. I took the grandson to school which started late Monday & Tuesday mornings so the daughter would not have to go to work late. I used to walk to elementary school in weather that cold (around 7F) every year. Stupid. The grandson can easily stand there waiting for the bus in cold weather.

  3. 3/4 mile walk for me. Only uphill one way, though. On the plus side, one house had a couple of “dogs” which didn’t look very far removed from their lupine ancestors and which weren’t always secured as well as they ought have been, so I can reasonably say that I was chased by wolves on the way to school. There were sidewalks about half of the distance, but they were never shoveled in the morning if it had snowed. I remember walking to school several times in second and third grade when it was -10F. I do not remember the schools ever closing for weather when I was in elementary school, though it might have happened.

  4. I grew up in NC and we occasionally got snow or ice, which cancelled school. However, I distinctly remember one morning the temperature being 0F when I headed to school. No bullcrap about schools being delayed because of cold. And now my kids have gone to school two hours late two days in a row because, well, heck if I know. It kind of pissed me off, though. I want my kids safe, but this coddling in warm inflatable pillows is ridiculous.

    Re: winter weather: my friends in Chicago used to laugh at my city when they’d cancel school over a light dusting because they’d head to school in up to 12 inches or so. Maybe more.