Hot meals versus education

There has been much snow during the past week. To clarify, about 8 inches fell on Saturday night and, as the temperature was low enough, it laid instantly. The UK rarely seems to have enough snow on a regular basis for people to acclimatise, so it often ends up causing widespread disruption; however, being a Sunday morning, this was minimised. The temperature picked up during the day, some of the snow melted and, by Monday, there was little comment on its disruption – other than in small localised regions.

In north-west Norfolk, most schools closed on Monday due to the usual array of snow-related reasons. These included large numbers of staff and/or students being unable to get to the premises, unsafe paths and other similar reasons. Being a particularly rural region, this was not too surprising but, amongst all of the schools which closed, one notable primary school remained open.

Well, the Queen was visiting – it had to, didn’t it? [see here]

Meanwhile, as the week progressed, the reasons behind some of the school closures were clarified. This included some of the following:

Boiler failure – so no heating or hot water
Electrical fault – so no heating
Unable to provide hot dinners

Arguably, these are valid reasons for schools having to close; it is right that people (staff and students) are not expected to work in inhumane conditions. But is it right that schools close for such reasons? Do the potential consequences of such problems outweigh the potential benefits of education?

Admittedly, the timescales are relatively small, so the actual consequences are limited. But perhaps it would make more sense to give staff and students a choice?

Velvet snow

NFK_8106Weather forecasters cannot accurately predict the weather as far away as three months so, on the assumption that this cold spell will pass, it must be assumed that the London marathon (in April) will go ahead as planned. Now this presents me with a choice: to train in the snow, or to not train in the snow.

  • Training in the snow is hard work, and is not particularly conducive to good running form. However, it provides good resistance training, and the cold weather can be a good source of psychological training.
  • Not training in the snow is unlikely to have major implications for the marathon itself (unless the snow remains for a few weeks). It is also ‘easier’ and warmer.

However, the biggest factor in making up my mind is that this opportunity does not come around very often and it can be heaps of fun. So off I went with my camera…