Memories and Musings: Don’t judge the day by the weather!
Published 11:44 am Sunday, March 19, 2023
By Gene Gallelli
The title of this column is a partial quote from a sixth grade student, back when I was teaching elementary school many years ago. What she actually said was, “Please don’t judge the day by the weather, Mister G!” I still chuckle remembering the trouble many of my elementary students had rolling out all the Ls in my last name and, instead, coming up with many funny, creative pronunciations.
It took me a while to understand the amazing wisdom in that sixth grader’s advice; actually, too long. I can’t remember what bothered me about that rainy day at Ellicott Road Elementary School but, whatever it was, I wasn’t setting much of an example for sixth graders by blaming my morning grumpiness on the weather. After all, Mother Nature didn’t have my weekly To Do List with an attached note that read, “Please comply!”
Having experienced blizzards, tornadoes, ice storms, nor’easters and flooding, I learned that I’m the only one who can come up with options for myself that are fun, legal and effective during any of Mother Nature’s moods.
In my opinion, there is no stronger evidence of being unprepared for bad weather than when I resort to saying, “I’m bored!”
Boredom is a sad choice and it worried me when I heard it from my elementary students. My mother taught me how not to be bored. She was an avid reader and influenced me by her example, that reading is fun. So throughout life, whatever the weather – and, as long as light is available – I grab a new or old novel and just let time slip away. (Reading sessions, nowadays, are often interrupted by a nap.)
I hesitate to mention television as a go-to for boredom; although, sometimes it’s an option when nothing else is available.
I still believe that children who are read to and who become independent readers will be successful in school. Once a child discovers those squiggles and wiggles – the alphabet – have meaning, anything they want to know is available in a neighborhood or school library staffed by librarians who are glad to help.
I guess I forgot to mention the many fun things that can be done when the sun is out and shorts and T-shirts are the dress-of-the-day. Hit the beach! Play golf or tennis or pickleball. Take a walk or ride a bike. If there’s a bottom line to all this, it’s that we are in control of, and responsible for, keeping a smile on our own faces.
We have no control over Mother Nature, so just let her do her thing. So, when the sun is out, grab the tennis racket or golf clubs. If the rain is pounding against your back windows, grab that book or reach for the Monopoly board.
It’s always a great day, so have one yourself!
Gene Gallelli was associate superintendent of the Dare County Schools for eight years. He received his doctor of education degree from East Carolina University, where he taught and supervised students studying to become school administrators.