Friday, March 13, 2015

When Weather Changed History

The Weather Channel airs a series of episodes chronicling the effects of weather on major events in history.  Episodes include The Chicago Fire, D-Day, Hindenburg, Titanic, and others.  On this Friday of Spring Break 2015, at the end of a week of rain and crazy changes in atmospheric pressure, I am wondering how many other events have changed the course of our lives but have not been attributed to weather. 

As a teacher of young children for 20 years, I dreaded the passing of a weather front, knowing the negative effects of such fronts on children's behavior.  Just google it, and you'll see lots of studies have been done on this phenomenon, cataloguing the long list of behavioral consequences, such as increased impulsiveness, lower cognitive functioning, irritability, and the reduction of oxygen to the brain.  Multiply this times 27, and three o'clock can't come too soon. 

Even as a child, I observed the effects of a series of rainy days or the approach of a weather front on the behavior of members of our household.  I just wanted to be very still  and hope it would give way to sunshine quickly, but Mama threw open all the doors to "enjoy" it and often had us go out and dance in it.  It seemed the only ill effect she suffered from a front was if it came through on a day she'd planned to make divinity. 

Job didn't seem to allow weather to affect his actions.  When a bolt of lightning struck his sheep and shepherds and a tornado hit the house where his children were partying and killed them all, Job blessed the name of God. 

I do wish the weather didn't affect me the way it does, I really do.  Because if it didn't, I might not be so dadgum irritated when I go on Facebook and see yet another commentary posted about the Common Core and how bad it is for children or how the PARCC uses passages that are two grade levels above the grade being tested.  I might not be so tempted to message each of those people individually and yell at them, "If you're not literate enough to go to the primary source and stop relying on commentaries for your information, then just keep your mouth shut."

A check of WDAM's weather page tells me the sun is supposed to shine tomorrow.  Just for the sake of a little experimentation, I might revisit those posts to see if they still make me want to stand up Moses-style in front of the congregation and retrace our education history, reminding them of the wilderness wanderings and ridiculing them for choosing to stay there.  Maybe tomorrow when the sun shines, I won't want to yell at supposedly literate adults and point out that reliance on commentaries is not a capacity of a literate being.  Maybe.

Or I might just make some divinity.