Day 8: March is the Snowiest Month

As a teacher, March is a challenge. As Tara wrote last week, March is long. There aren’t any long weekends or vacations. It’ll be awhile until we see April vacation. Sometimes March feels like a slog toward spring.

In Vermont, it doesn’t help that all the commercials on TV and catalogues in the mail are filled with bathing suits, flip-flops, outdoor toys, and garden supplies. Unfortunately for us, in the mountains of northern Vermont, we won’t be able to make use of any of those “spring” items until Memorial Day has passed.

My mother used to remind us all the time that “March was the snowiest month.” For example, when we begged to stay home from ski lessons so we could watch Saturday morning cartoons:

My 8 year old brother: “Ma, can’t we stay long enough for Garfield?”

Mom: “No. Get in the car. March is the snowiest month.”

My brother and I in unison: “Ugh. Maa!”

 

Recently I caught myself saying the same thing not just once, but multiple times. To my daughter, to my nephew, and today to a whole group of teachers. I never really questioned the fact that March was the snowiest month until I sat down to write, tonight.

You see, I’m in the habit of coming up with a title first, and then writing a draft (changing the title as needed). So when I decided on “March is the Snowiest Month,” I then thought, “But wait. . . is it?”

So, I did what anybody would do in 2016 and I googled it. Turns out there were many websites that confirmed my what my mother taught me, but there were also a few that showed not March, but January as being the snowiest month.

January? Huh?

Also, it seemed that most, if not all of the websites proclaiming March as the snowiest month just happened to be ski resorts, ski reviews, and skier blogs. The weather channels and meteorologists all pointed to January or February.

What does this mean? Why does everybody keep saying March is the snowiest month when the scientists say otherwise?

Maybe it’s a matter of perception. By March, we’ve been accumulating snow all winter long, so in some ways it is the snowiest month. Maybe it is snowier in the mountains than in the valleys? Maybe certain places in Vermont get more snow in March than any other month?

Whether or not it’s really true, I think that the idea of March being the snowiest puts a positive spin on the cold weather, and the long stretch of time we need to get through before spring really arrives. I like thinking March is the snowiest month. It gives me something to look forward to — because in my world snow means snow days, skiing, sledding, making snowmen. Lack of snow would mean just ice and cold and grey skies.

March is a long month. But it’s a good long month. Maybe not the snowiest month, but it is a month where anything can happen.

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5 thoughts on “Day 8: March is the Snowiest Month

  1. Hi Beth- This seems like a fun way to teach bias. I bet those snow resorts have a pretty vested interest in March being a snowy month. I’m sorry for the skiers that the winter has been so snowless, but June 8th is looking not too far away!

    Loved your weaving in of the past and snippets of conversation.

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  2. Beth,
    I love that you “fact checked” your own statement with google. Just because “I think so” or “I have always heard xyz” doesn’t mean that it is true. However, perception / reality is truly in the hands of the “writer” and you do have the power to shape that reality with your words! Your March is fun – not dreary! Love that picture of a snowy March especially in VERMONT!

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  3. One dusting last week here on Long Island. Last year we had enough snow on March 20 that they sent us home early (so much for first day of spring!).

    I usually call this month The Long March, after the Chinese Communists. However, this month we get a four-day weekend for Easter, so this year is an exception. Don’t they celebrate Easter in the People’s Republic of Vermont, or have they decided that “religion is the opiate of the people”? ; )

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