I have of late been inspired by my students to re-read To Kill a Mockingbird , Harper Lee’s clasic, which many of them are tackling as part of a literature class assignment.
I have enjoyed the read. Much is familiar, but there are many passages which have new meaning to me thirty-plus years after my first reading.
One of those is not nearly as “meaningful” as funny. As I sit here in frozen, snow-bound Michigan, I got a chuckle at the story of the freak snow storm that hit Maycomb, Alabama. Scout initially fears that it is a sign of the apocalypse:
The next morning I awoke, looked out of the window and nearly died of fright. My screams brought Atticus from his bathroom half shaven.
“The world’s endin’, Atticus! Please do something—“
I dragged him to the window and pointed.
“No, it’s not,” he said. “It’s snowing”
Jem hopped across the front yard. I followed in his tracks. When we were on the sidewalk in front of Miss Maudie’s, Mr. Avery accosted us. He had a big pink face and a big stomach below his belt.
“See what you’ve done?” he said “Hasn’t snowed in Maycomb since Appomattox. It’s bad children like you make the seasons change.”
So there you have it: the underlying cause of climate instablity is … bad children.
At this point, my career as a teacher and golfer is clear: I need to crack down on classroom discipline so the weather gods will look favorably upon me. Perhaps then this long winter will end and I can get back to the course.