Thursday, February 6, 2020

Early dismissal

I got to leave work 2 hours  early today! Woo hoo!

We had early dismissal due to a line of very heavy storms moving into the area. The forecast is calling for 60mph winds starting around 3pm, which is too dangerous for school buses to be driving around in. I'm sure we'll get some downed trees as well, especially since we're to have flooding rains, too. This is crazy weather for February.

I feel much better than yesterday. Work felt rewarding again this morning, albeit in a small way. My favorite guidance counselor told me that one of our Hispanic students and his mother were in her office and didn't know they were eligible for free lunches. The student had racked up over $100 in lunch debt that will be erased if they apply for and are approved for free lunch. The mom doesn't speak any English, and the family doesn't have a computer at  home to apply online for the lunch program. Ms. Long (the counselor) said, "Mrs. Barlow, can you help them?" and I told her I sure could! While Ms. Long covered the phones and door buzzer for me, I went online and filled out the application for the mother for both of her kids, the one at our school and  his little brother in the fifth grade. Between my mediocre Spanish skills, and the son to help with translating (plus a couple of phone calls to get the little brother's student ID number from his school) we managed pretty well and got the application submitted. The mom was so grateful for my help and it made me feel good to make a small difference for that family.

Then we got to leave early, which was a surprise. I do hope the storms aren't bad and no one has any property damage, but when we get to leave school early, I feel a little bit like a kid again myself! I wish we'd have a snow day off, too, but I'm losing hope that we'll see any snow this year. It is supposed to be back down to freezing tomorrow night, which will wreak havoc with the trees blooming so early around here:

Not the best photo, but it's the only one I have of our next-door neighbor's beautiful tree.
 It's dripping with gorgeous pink flowers right now! That's our house behind it (photo was taken from my car).


  1. That IS a beautiful tree!
    We have the same warnings here exactly- except for the freezing part. Owen and Gibson's school let out early and all the universities are closed. We're supposed to be getting wind gusts up to seventy mph.
    And woman- you did your good deed for the day for sure! What a relief to that family that their child gets free lunches. Good stuff!

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  2. The weather has been very strange this winter. They say we should expect it though.

  3. helping others gives you a warm feeling, that your help made a difference in someone's life. I hope those students get the free lunches.

  4. We have rain, though not as bad as you. I Do believe you're under a tornado watch.

  5. I love a surprise day off early! It's even better than if you were expecting it! I imagine you made more than a small difference for that Mom regarding the lunch bills. It does feel good to be able to help someone like that. I hope your coming storm is not too bad. Stay safe!

  6. I hope the storms are not too bad. The weather has been crazy here in central VA. I am afraid we will get no snow this year. We have had no inclement weather days this year. Last year we had six! Glad your day was better today.

  7. How nice you were able to lift another's burden.

  8. It is such a good feeling to help another and in this case a whole family. Well done, Jennifer.

    I saw the storms that you are experiencing in the Carolinas. My daughter is headed from PA to Fl this weekend by car and I am very worried about what the conditions will be, but she isn’t.

  9. We're supposed to have a big storm tonight. It's been very windy. I'm glad you had a rewarding experience at work. The Spanish I learned in high school has helped me many times.


  10. What a lovely tree !
    Hope the storm will miss you and you get a little snow but no wind !

  11. You were able to help the family in that matter; next time they encounter a problem, they will hopefully not just try and struggle along on their own, but ask for help again, as I am sure there are many programs in place to help students in similar situations. How good that you know some Spanish!
    The blossoming tree is beautiful; I am looking forward to the magnolia trees in my street to open up, but at the same time I'm afraid they will feeze to death when winter decides to make a proper appearance.

  12. Glad that you had a better day. What a difference it will make to that family if the boys are getting a good meal when at school! We are expecting strong winds here in UK, though it will be a " westerly" wind so hopefully not too bad here in the SE. ( Harpenden). West coast will get the worst.

  13. Being able to work with the student and mother must have been so satisfying. It makes a lot of other aggravations worthwhile when you can appreciate the difference you made. How did the storm turn out?

  14. It's awesome that you were able to help that family in such a significant way! Seldom do we see the results of our labors in such a concrete sense.

    As for blooming trees, it depends on the tree (of course), but I've always been impressed by how well some of them stand up to cold weather. I think nature engineers them to cope with spring cold snaps. So maybe all is not lost.

  15. Well, you feel probably not well. Never mind. Will not comment anymore.

  16. How uplifting to help that poor family out in such a practical way and nice to have a little time out from your front line duties.

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