IWU called off all classes today. That is news... I think the last time all classes were cancelled was in the late 1970's. We have even less "commuters" now... most of our students must only walk a hundred yards to classes..and they already have to walk that far today anyway to eat. But classes are cancelled today anyway. Why? What has changed?Here are my guesses.
First, more faculty are long commuters. Our faculty used to live in Marion--they were almost 'required" to do so. Now many live in Indianapolis--more than 100 yards from classrooms. You can have class without a few students, but not as easily without a faculty member.
Second, the workaholic ethos is changing. IWU has always been famous for producing graduates who "just do it." they don't make excuses: "I was sick," "I slept in," or "it snowed." IWU does not even have such a thing as a "nurse's office excuse" any more for missing classes (except for dangerous communicable diseases). The school expected faculty and students to simply "show up and do their job" ignoring everything but the job. This has made graduates very popular with employers, but it might be also establish workaholic habits that are not mentally healthy--so there is an attempt to soften this now--and a snow day is an example of how to soften this hard-work-cafe ethos.
Finally, the rest of Indiana are ALL snow-wimps. We have not had a big (big=10" ;-) snow storm in years--so this was news before it happened. Some faculty members cancelled classes personally yesterday--before a single flake of snow! It is as if we need an emergency and dog-gone it we will have one even if it is only for a foot of snow. Of course people in Minneapolis and Buffalo laugh at us--but Indiana is something like north Carolina when it comes to snow. They freak out. In fact, in Indiana the snowplows go home at ten o'clock at night and go to bed like everybody else--really!!!!
OK, I think I'll do my taxes today...