Ohio VS. Illinois – weather

From time to time, I will be talking about what it’s like to live in various places throughout the midwest because I have a lot of experience in that area.  We’ve lived in central Illinois, northern Illinois, and various suburbs of Chicago.  We also lived in Lincoln, Nebraska and rural Ohio.  Of all these, I love rural Ohio the best!  But it is really interesting how different things like dialect and attitudes can vary from place to place, even places that are only hundreds of miles apart and in virtually the same climate.  One thing I’m still getting used to in rural Ohio is their attitude about weather.  I spent my childhood in Illinois, specifically the suburbs of Chicago, so I am used to the attitude of snow days being a rarity.  I wonder what the average is there, but I would guess it’s one per season or even less – they will not cancel school unless the schools are buried.  There was one time when my mom’s car was snowed in, she couldn’t get it out of the driveway, and so she wanted to take the school bus with me to school – she worked at the same school I attended.  So I did what any mature 12-year-old would do – I cried.  Foolish, maybe yes, but I figured I had suffered enough with her working at my school – why should I have to face the humiliation and ridicule of her riding my bus?  It had nothing to do with how cool I thought I was; it was more about how MEAN kids can be…  I was so afraid of what the kids would say or do once they found out my mom was riding the bus!  So anyway, lucky for me, she got her car out, and I was saved.  But my point is, her car was stuck in the snow, yet they hadn’t cancelled school.  Here in Ohio things are MUCH different.  We are on our 6th snow day already this season!  And I’ve lost count of how many 2 hour delays we’ve had – which luckily (for them, not me) the kids don’t have to make up.  Coming from Chicagoland, I had never even heard of a 2 hour delay before we moved here – they don’t exist there.  But in Ohio – they are quite common, most of the time because of fog – FOG!  We actually have fog days!  School has been CANCELLED because of fog…  it was really hard for me to get used to at first…  you’d think we live in a swamp or something!  Oh, wait, – that’s just it…  this area used to be the Great Black Swamp before it was turned into farmland a few hundred years ago.  So I guess that explains it…  but I would be willing to bet that if Illinois had a fog problem, they still wouldn’t cancel school.  I don’t know anything about Nebraska’s attitudes about weather and school since we didn’t have a school-aged child while we lived there.  I don’t really have an opinion about who is right or who is wrong – it’s not that Ohio devalues education or anything like that…  they are just over-sensitive about childrens’ safety when it comes to weather (is there such a thing?), and the school days and curriculum are made up in the end so they’re not behind.  I’m just enjoying my role as an amused spectator observing the differences in weather attitude between different regions.

3 thoughts on “Ohio VS. Illinois – weather”

  1. Growing up in the Buckeye state, I remember at the very mention of snow or fog…. at least more than an inch or two… it would be…. ooooohhhh…. delay tomorrow. this would allow a bit of time to catch a few minutes of sleep or finish that last bit of homework. We also took bets on who would cancel first. There came a time when a pattern formed. Particularly with Edgerton and its neighbor to the north, Edon. One would delay and two minutes later, the other. AH…. youth in NW OHHO 🙂 Then of course came the make up days:(

  2. Yes, well this year everybody is already way over the average snowfall – I think we’re about 7 in over or something like that. Also, last time I checked we are expecting another 1-3 inches tonight! Could this be snow day #7?!? It is annoying, but I (unlike the kids) am SOOOOO looking forward to the makeup days – I will be almost 8 mos pregnant then and needing a break even more than I do now!

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