Cavaliers Reminisce on Past Snow Days

Cosette Jo, Staff Writer

Photo illustration by Zainab Rentia.

“Snowmageddon” went down in history during the February, 2010, as name of the storm that gave Fairfax County 25.5 inches of snow in one day. More drastically, Dulles Airport reported 32.4 inches of snow; the enormous blizzard affected conditions in areas across the continent, from California to Mexico to Virginia. Students may remember the storm that occurred during March of 2014 with better clarity, featuring two weeks of snow days. Despite the fact that no winter has since brought forth a worthy match, we can still look forward to this school year’s snow days (with 5 days of bliss guaranteed before virtual learning kicks in) and brainstorm the way we’ll spend our day off.

Freshman Isaac Kim said that his favorite part about snow days was the essential no-school aspect. “Just the fact that I don’t have school is a very blissful feeling for me, because I don’t have anything to think about ahead of time and I can just enjoy the fact that I have nothing else set for the day.” He explained that his snow day routine consists of relaxing inside until his siblings beg him to go out. “Then my mom makes me shovel the driveway, which is pretty much how I spend the day afterwards.” Despite the work, snow days are still a cherished respite.

Mrs. Sarah Moffa teaches Algebra II and Precalc. She likes snow days best when she knows about them ahead of time so that she can turn her alarm clock off and snag an extra hour or two of sleep. “But if they don’t announce it in advance, I like just to wake up, see that we have a snow day, sleep in more,” said Moffa, laughing a little. “It’s mostly sleeping in.”

The same goes for many students. “Sleep in,” junior Ella Jackson asserted as the first item on her snow day checklist, “And then I would…watch TV and just relax all day.”

The last FCPS snow day was in January. “They thought it was going to be icy and they were worried about Internet access,” Moffa recalled.

Sophomore Jordan Hershaft outlined what he remembers doing that day, a routine that he does pretty much every snow day. “Sleep in…I’ll play video games for a bit and then I’ll go out in the snow…I’ll go back inside to drink hot chocolate and sometimes I’ll go out in the snow a second time.” Hershaft said that his favorite snow activity is “building a snow fort, definitely.”

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Sophomore Andrei Sabula’s day was somewhat similar. “[I] generally just try to relax most of the day, definitely go outside…I do remember having a pretty big snowball fight with a lot of my friends,” he added.

Though she had not been living in Virginia at the time, Moffa remembers a huge snowstorm that occurred when she was in college at around the same time as “Snowmageddon.” “We had a big snowstorm in Pennsylvania, which possibly was the same snowstorm here, and we got so much snow that college classes were canceled for two days.” She explained how the snow policy was different there, requiring at least a foot of snow it in order to cancel school. “[It was] kind of a big deal.” She recalled that snow had been scraped off the parking lots into mini mountains. “I just spent the whole day climbing on top of these giant mounds of snow and trying to make makeshift sleds out of garbage bags, so it was a good two days of fun.”

As for this year, the general vibe regarding snow days seems to be eager, but resigned. “I’m hoping for a lot, obviously, but I’m only expecting a few,” explained Hershaft.

“[I’m] not anticipating too many,” Sabula agreed, “but if we do get them, then that’s pretty awesome.”

Jackson is most looking forward to spending time with friends. “Last year, we couldn’t [see people] during snow days because of Covid, so now I…[would] go out with friends because you have a free day.”

From a teacher’s perspective, however, snow days are approached with slight caution. Moffa expressed the struggle to get through all of this year’s curriculum and how it would be heightened by days off. “I do love a good snow day, but…we’re so far behind from our deficits of being online all year last year. “So I hope we don’t have too many,” she said with a smile, “but we can have one or two.”

Poll Answer: The highest three-day snow storm in Fairfax County was 33.5 inches.