Saturday, December 19, 2009

“How stupid do you think I am?” and more on the inversion.

Because of some before the break activities, we had a pretty bizarre inversion1 schedule on Friday.  Lunch normally revolves around 3rd period, Friday it revolved around 4th, which we knew would create some havoc for the students, despite herculean efforts to prevent that.  But I had two 9th grade students come in the last seconds of 4th period, when we were handing out the tickets to get into the various activities, and tell me they accidentally went to 2nd lunch, they swore they weren’t sluffing.  For those of you that don’t teach middle school, that would mean they came to my class during 1st lunch, when nobody was there, spent half an hour wandering around the school trying to figure out why nobody was in my room, and then when the bell rang for 2nd lunch thought “Oh, guess we missed them, time to head over to lunch.”  The most insulting part is that they really expected me to fall  for it.

I was standing at the back door of the gym, letting kids in andinversion2 out to cool off from the dance, when Pedro’s post about the inversion came to mind.  It hasn’t gotten any better since his post.  I looked out across the field at the muck in the air and thought “How in hell can Utah politicians deny that we’re messing up the planet?”

See, we live in a bowl here in Salt Lake City.  Mountains pretty much all around us.  And when a high pressure sets in, it’s like putting a lid on that bowl.  The jet stream pushes warmer air over us, but it can’t get into the valley*.  Hence the inversion, it will actually be warmer up in Park City than it is down in the valley, sometimes by almost 10 degrees.  What that also means is that all the pollution gets stuck in the bowl too.  If an inversion lasts long enough, newscasters will advise residents to get out of the city and go up into theinversion3 mountains for a few hours, not only for clean air, but also for whatever it is in direct sunlight that helps alleviate SAD depression.  Which is why I’m praying for a good snow storm this weekend.  More often than not, the bitter cold comes right before a snowstorm, which rips the lid off the bowl, scouring out the pollution and warming up the valley.

Yes, I AM dreaming of a white Christmas.  Or day before Christmas. Or tomorrow.




* Meteorological information is a combination of facts I’ve absorbed over the years and personal conjecture from those facts.  Some of it could be wrong, but at least it sounds good.


A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, good point. I'll use this one with my right-wing students who argue with me that global warming is a farce. (idiots)

And I love the "I went to the wrong lunch" excuse.

Have you seen the tee-shirts for teachers that say, "The dog ate my lesson plans"?

word verification: scones

Max said...

Love the shirt, need to get me one.
Even better is the argument; "So what if global warming is a farce, it would still be nice to breathe"