I was a dance major in college, and my department had ridiculous standards when it came to attendance. One unexcused absence meant your grade dropping a whole letter. And getting an excused absence was more painful then pulling teeth, even if you were skipping to get your teeth pulled.
My senior year, there was a terrible ice storm. Oklahoma City became a winter wonderland. The trees were coated with glittering ice. The roads were perfect for boot skating. And the university decided to have classes anyway. I had to get to ballet, so I bravely walked the four blocks, almost falling and breaking my ankle a few times. But really, what does a broken ankle matter to a dancer? My fiancé tried to drive, but the car decided it wanted to try pirouettes before he even made it a block.
All day people were slipping and falling on campus simply trying to get to class so their grades wouldn’t suffer. We all knew it was dangerous. But the administration had made its decision, and we were forced to obey. The dean of the dance department decided to sit us all down for a lecture on dedication. If we didn’t want to go to class in an ice storm, we had no place in show business! I wanted to puke on his shoes, but with the rampancy of bulimia in the department, I don’t think it would have had the shock value I was going for.
After leaving the dance building, I had the singular pleasure of watching the dean wipe out on the ice. He only suffered from major bruising, so I don’t feel too guilty for laughing. Apparently, he wasn’t dedicated enough to show business, and the theatre gods decided to smite him.
My fiancé made a Facebook group for students against going to school under hazardous conditions. He even made it into the university paper. But the school never learned. Though I’m sure my Dean decided to walk a little more carefully.
As the snow falls this winter, remember to be careful. Drive safely, and don’t go out into a storm unless you have to (get to ballet.)