The bright red text on the homepage is the text of triumph, of relief, of salvation, of snow days.  It appears during grueling weeks of school, or after long holiday weekends, and instills euphoria and excitement in every student.  But the decision to put that life-changing text on the website does not come down to slippery streets, buried buses, struggling snowplows, or even the wise calculations of AP Calculus teacher Timothy Cornell.  The happiness of thousands, the opportunity to spend an extra day preparing for a test, the chance to do all the homework that was put off in anticipation of a day off hinges on one man—Superintendent Dr. David Aderhold.

“It principally depends on the weather,” Aderhold said during an interview about his procedure for predicting snow days.  “I am aware if it is cold enough for snow because, sometime during the evening, I will hear a creak and then a loud snap and then my head will begin to buzz like a washing machine.  Nobody else to whom I have mentioned this has heard it except my dog.   He will bark at me in discontent until I get a headache, then I’ll take an aspirin and take a nap.  If there will be a storm that night, I will know, because I will dream about ice cream.  If I do so, I will approach the freezer and prepare a bowl of ice cream.”

The factor that decides what time school will be closed lies in the type of ice cream Aderhold selects.  If he eats neopolitan ice cream because there is no remaining chocolate or vanilla bean in the freezer, he will consider, but not decide on, canceling or postponing school.  However, if he finishes the bin of neopolitan ice cream after he gets up from his nap, he will postpone school.  If he eats chocolate ice cream because he had been eating too much vanilla bean earlier, there will be no snow day.  If he eats vanilla bean, he will cancel school.

Unlike the majority of schools—which rely more heavily on forms of guesswork, such as the weather channels, and us excuses like “prioritizing the safety of students and staff” and “better judgement”—Aderhold’s method leaves nothing up to chance.  It is, however, unpredictable, depending on the volume of his dog’s barking and the amount of ice cream left in his freezer, so many students complain about Aderhold’s method of canceling school, because he sometimes chooses to post the red notice on the website as late as 5:30 am.  Students can put off work, stay up late, and waste as much of their evenings as they want if Aderhold cancels school early in the evening but will be stressed out if he waits until the morning.

On rare occasions, school is postponed or even canceled when it seems like the buses could have driven on the roads without a problem.  “I am routinely correct,” Aderhold said, “but on the occasion that I have guests over, they may skew the results by eating too much of my chocolate or too much of my vanilla bean ice cream.”  Fortunately, nobody loses when he is wrong.  “Students and staff are safe and get to miss some school, and I can run out to the store and buy more vanilla bean,” Aderhold said.

This article first appeared in the 2014 April Fool’s edition of The Knightly News.

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