Perhaps Dr. Kelly had some help with Spring Break decision

In this past week, Dr. Kelly has gone from being the brunt of parental complaints to being the schoolchildren’s hero. After braving the loud attacks from parents irate that school was kept in session during the dangerous ice storm, he has come through for the students and created a solution that will fulfill mandated educational requirements while still maintaining that all-important respite known as Spring Break.

Not only did Dr. Kelly’s plan bring relief to those of us with spring break plane tickets in hand, but it also marked a first someone in the government thinking of the long term and planning ahead. In order to accomplish this feat, he must have had some help. I wonder what happened during those sleepless nights as he pondered what to do

“Wake up,” cried the spectre.

“Who are you,” muttered Dr. Kelly, only half awake.

“I am Hamlet,” said the ghost, “but that is not important. To have Spring Break or not to have Spring Break, that is the question. Whether it is nobler to suffer the irate phone calls and e-mails from parents who have made travel arrangements or to take up the challenge to find a solution that will retain that necessary respite for the children? And here you sleep; you sleep perchance to dream; ay, there’s the rub. For in that sleep who knows what dreams may come.”

“What dreams may come indeed,” Dr. Kelly muttered to himself. And fell back asleep.

“Awake, awake, the time is short,” bellowed the spectre.

“Now what?” mumbled Dr. Kelly.

“I am the ghost of spring breaks yet to be,” bellowed the ghost. “In the interest of time, the ghosts of spring breaks past and present have asked me to combine our efforts into one visit. We’re mighty tired from helping out the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future this year searching for this guy in Afghanistan. So, let’s cut to the chase and get to the point. Do you remember your spring breaks in school?”

“Yes,” admitted Dr. Kelly, turning a handsome shade of crimson that could be easily seen in the darkness of his bedroom.

“And do you remember the thrill on the children’s faces when school lets out for break?”


“And can you recall the joy on teachers’ faces when school let out for spring break?”

“Yes again,” said Dr. Kelly.

“And do you recall the looks of wonder and joy on the parents’ faces when the children go back to school after spring break?”

“Yes,” admitted Dr. Kelly.

“Unless you wish to suffer for eternity bearing the chains of spring breaks lost, grandparents not visited, beaches not combed, roller coasters not ridden, you must keep the spirit of Spring Break alive for the children of Prince William County,” whispered the ghost who then disappeared.

“Great, two ghosts telling me what to do and neither one giving me any ideas of how to do it,” muttered a frustrated Dr. Kelly.

“That’s why you’re paid the big bucks,” replied disembodied, haunting voices.

All this mumbling and chain rattling woke Mrs. Kelly half out of her slumber. “What’s the problem?” she mumbled.

“I’m trying to decide how we’re going to make up all the snow days and still keep spring break,” replied Dr. Kelly.

“That’s easy,” Mrs. Kelly sleepily replied. “Extend the school day half an hour.”

Dr. Kelly pondered this idea for several hours (it was the middle of the night, after all). He knew this was the plan.

“Oh, honey?” came Mrs. Kelly’s drowsy voice.

“Yes, dear?” asked Dr. Kelly.

“Include some extra snow days just in case.”


“You should always be prepared, just like the Boy Scouts. After all, the Farmer’s Almanac says there will be one more storm.”

The next morning over breakfast, Dr. Kelly mentioned to his wife that he had decided how to make up for the snow days. As he explained about extending the day, building in extra snow days, and switching some teacher work days, she smiled. “That’s great. Where did you ever get the idea?”

“It just came to me in a dream.”

Denise Oppenhagen lives in Lake Ridge.

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