Weather By Degrees

I do not like it hot and I suffer humidity even more, put them both together and I am miserable. Any profession that works in the elements has it rough when the temperature spikes above 90º – the mid 90s can be killers – workers have been known to keel right over from dehydration, sunstroke and heart attack in super hot weather. If I wanted hot hazy 97º days then I would be living below the Mason-Dixon Line, but I am a New Englander and I don’t function well when temperatures approach 75º.

My favorite year around temperature is 68º and I can tolerate 55º wearing a sweater and maybe a pair of fingerless gloves. I don’t complain when the temperatures dip below 32º, in fact I enjoy frosty cold days – its in my blood. I must run WD-10 throughout my circulatory system because my blood sure isn’t thin enough for these triple-H days that makes teaching warm bodied teenagers such a joy.

Most New England high schools, those 50 years or older models, weren’t designed with air conditioning in mind. Practical New Englanders thought why spring for something that won’t ever be used – towns and cities throughout New England only experienced a couple of weeks of uncomfortable heat at the end of Spring and Indian Summer during early October and these brief temperature blips don’t support the cost of keeping 900 human beings cool and productive. Flash forward 50 years and hot summers that linger into late October are the norm which makes paving roads and putting out fires even more hellish than usual.

The next two days promise to be brutal, kids that spent the summer looking for nonexistent jobs and sleeping until 4 PM in air conditioned bliss don’t function well when woken up before 6 to catch a 6:30 AM bus to school. Heat doesn’t lubricate their brains, especially brains supported by starving bodies – no time to grab breakfast before rushing out the door to catch that bus.

Teachers live with delayed gratification, this has been ingrained in our DNA, so much so that when meteorologists show the 5-day forecast and hypothesize that the weather pattern might break in 4 days, we take their words as gospel. What else can we do? Its got to cool down sometime, right?

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