This past week, High School Squash Nationals got canceled. For a school like Brunswick, this was a very big deal — not just for the seniors and captains who would miss their final national tournament of high school, but for everyone else on the team, hoping to get our first national title.
Many of the squash team are single-sport athletes, all of whom I know look forward to nationals every year. The blizzard known as Nemo brought about an early dismissal, yes, but for my teammates and I, it was a huge disappointment to hear early Thursday morning that a snow storm would cancel the biggest, most important weekend of the year in our squash lives. The weekend that would be the culmination of our three months of hard work during the season and the rest of the year, that no single away match could compare to, was immediately cut from our schedules
I don’t blame the people at U.S. Squash for canceling the tournament due to the weather, but I couldn’t help but think that the tournament could have been still held, or at least rescheduled. Why couldn’t we go up a day early and miss the storm? Why couldn’t they have issued warnings? If a significant number of schools really couldn’t have made it, couldn’t they have canceled only then?
I got in the car with my dad, who was picking me up at 11:30 from school because of the early dismissal, and was greeted by, “Why’d they cancel school? It’s just ridiculous. And nationals? You know when I grew up, we didn’t have any snow days. People just drove more carefully and slowly and we made it to the places we were going fine, just took us more time. Everyone’s too scared about little things these days.”
While I think every kid (myself included) is annoyed by their parents doing this (it’s not my fault that school was canceled dad, so don’t yell at me about it), I couldn’t help but notice my reaction was similar to his.
While it is inevitable that things will be canceled due to weather, and I understand that the motives are really just to help others be safe, I can’t help but agree that some actions taken are a bit excessive.
The storm was obviously a major weather event, and I see that the “necessary” measures have to be enacted; once I heard of the government issued statement which would allow cops to pull over anyone driving during and after the storm, my position was solidified.
I understand the purely right motives towards these closings and cancellations, but I still can’t help but think that our area, or “system,” has become a little too “scared” in a way.
I love having snow days, early dismissals and delayed openings as much as anyone, but I tend to agree with my dad. Why should we, as a society, become progressively submissive towards natural occurrences, when our ability to overcome them is only growing with time? I don’t think it’s everyone’s job to go out during Hurricane Sandy and drive around — there is a limit to this attitude — but I think in many cases we should be in school, specifically that we should have had nationals still.
I respect and appreciate the actions taken towards keeping the public safe, but just in my personal opinion, our society is too scared of the snow, of unexpected occurrences, that might give us the inconvenience and discomfort of a longer, slower, and more careful drive to work or school.
Henry Haig is a junior at Brunswick School.