Perhaps the greatest source of joy and sheer creative passion that can happen during the winter months for a k-12 student or teacher, a snow day occurs when regular classes are cancelled due to unsafe road conditions caused by sleet, ice, freezing rain, or snow (hence the name). Snow days take place most often in school districts which are far enough south that cold temperatures and slippery roads are not an every day affair, yet are far enough north for snow to not be something unexpected or unusual.

Normally, snow days follow a set pattern. The moment the first flakes of snow start falling, school-age children enter the hope phase. Children sit around, eagerly listening to the radio and gazing longingly at the slowly growing list adorning the bottom of various television stations in the region. Every time the alphabetical listing of schools comes close to displaying whatever school the particular members of a household attend, conversation falls silent as all eyes are riveted to the little blue bar on the bottom of the screen.

Next, comes the decision phase. This part of the snow day is often hidden from the eyes of both instructors as well as pupils. This sacred ceremony involves the superintendent and various school board members stepping out onto their front porches at regular intervals. Should any of the chosen few slip and/or fall on a patch of ice, then school is called off.

Upon the slippage of one of the school's high-ranking members, the snow day decision is relayed to local television and radio stations. The resultant exclamation of happiness, heard county-wide, designates when the snow day enters its third phase: exultation. Suddenly snowmen, snow angels, and sled trails appear on what was before a white blanket of miniscule ice crystals. Snowballs whiz through the air, striking unsuspecting parents on their expensive work clothes. The land transforms into a snow utopia.

When the actual snow day happens, the fourth phase begins: relaxation. During the hours which would have been spent at school, children across the land lie in bed, often sleeping until well past what would have been fourth period. Normal sleep cycles are destroyed, and breakfasts are missed at an alarming rate. Cruel teachers sit at home, muttering about how much valuble class time is being wasted while these brats sit at home being non-productive members of society.

Finally, the last phase of the snow day occurs months later, as summer vacation is drawing near. Because of the unfortunate reality of missed school days being added to the length of time until children are freed from their shackles and allowed to go out and play as they see fit, the last stage of a snow day is regret. "We could have been out of this stinking cess-pit weeks ago, had we not missed the whole month of January because of a blizzard!" enraged students shout, shaking their fists at the sky. Ultimately, though, most students are forced to admit that missing a day or two here or there because of a few flakes of snow is a good thing, over-all.