February 29, 2008

Leap

At the beginning of February, I told my students that I didn't like February because it was such a long month. February in Snowstorm Region, I explained, is about 94 days long. And all throughout the month of February, as my students straggled into class each morning, stamping snow off their boots, pulling wet mittens off, and apologizing for being late because the driving was so awful, I've kept saying, "See? Wasn't I right? Can you believe it's STILL February?"

My theory about February drove some of my literal, science-minded students crazy, but for the most part they've agreed with me. Then today, as we were talking the way we usually do before it's time to begin class, I announced that it was no longer February.

Chemistry Student Who Plans to Write a Science Fiction Novel Some Day looked at me in disbelief. "What? Of course it's still February."

I explained what a friend had suggested to me the day before. The month of February ends on the 28th, and leap day doesn't count because it's an extra day.

And I told them the new plan for leap day, the one that will be put into place when I become dictator of the world. Leap Day won't be on the calendar at all. That way, no one will schedule classes or appointments or anything at all. It'll be like that extra hour we get every fall. No one really thinks about it at all until it's Saturday night, and then someone remembers, "Oh, we get that extra hour! It's the night we turn the clocks back!" And then everyone changes their watches, and we get an extra hour.

I think that's what we deserve every four years. An extra day, a whole free day with nothing scheduled. It won't be on the calendar, it won't be a Friday or a Monday or any day of the week: it will just exist. Twenty-four extra hours!

Just the thought of having a whole day free to do nothing seemed to cheer my students up. They started talking about what they'd do with the time. Besides sleep, of course. They were all chatting happily as we started pulling out our books to begin class. And I could tell from the energy in the room that February was over.

18 comments:

Karin said...

I love that idea!

Linda said...

When do we get to name you dictator of the world? I like your idea! I could use 24 hours that's not on the calendar right now.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I love that idea. I wish this day hadn't existed and had just been bonus. At least then I'd have an excuse for wasted the whole day as I just have.

Preacher Mom said...

I could be a faithful subject to that kind of dictator! What a great idea!

D said...

You get my vote (and for many reasons other than just leap day). But I just loooovvvveee this idea!!

argon(one) said...

I love your idea. I wish I had taken the 29th off.

BerryBird said...

Jo(e), that is the best idea I've ever heard for leap year. An invisible day? What could be better?

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

What a fantastic idea!

Phantom Scribbler said...

This, my friend, is teh brilliant. Shall we start writing our congresspeople now?

Lomagirl said...

Okay, this is a case of great minds thinking alike. I, too, think leap day should be free!

halloweenlover said...

Love it! I am willing to write my representatives now. Let me know when the campaign is going to start.

Writer Chica said...

That sounds great! And makes perfect sense-just like that extra hour, but a whole extra day! I'd totally vote for you for dictator, but if you were a dictator then you probably weren't voted in. You would have just usurped the current leaders. So you've got less than four years to plot your takeover so we can all have a free day :)

Rev Dr Mom said...

Do it! Do it! I need that day now...boy do I need it.

landismom said...

Forget Obama--I'm writing in jo(e) for president in November!

OneTiredEma said...

I reeeeallly like this idea.

Of course, half my life is lived by the lunar calendar (one that has a "fix" for the loss of days every year)--so a whole extra month every three years or so might be a bit excessive.

But a freebie every four years sounds just perfect.

Angela said...

I'm a leap year baby - so what happens to me? Don't fob me off with the 28th - it's not the same.

jo(e) said...

Angela: Think of the great birthday party you could have. Everyone you know would have the day off!

readersguide said...

Oh, how I want that extra day!