Tuesday Tater Hot Take: Maryland Gets Hot

We are entering another stretch of extreme heat. Temperatures in the 90’s with a heat index above 100. This is not unusual for Maryland. Maryland gets hot and humid in the summer. This summer heat can start as early as May and can extend in to September. The heat is not a shock. This is Maryland weather.

Even though this heat is not unusual, there are several schools in the area without air conditioning. Every year, either at the beginning or the end of the school year, there are closings and delays alerts for schools being closed or closing early due to heat. Every year. For some reason, even though this is an every year thing, the local school systems don’t think putting AC in the schools is a priority. I guess they don’t think school disruptions matter enough to spend money on AC. It seems like a small investment to make sure students and teachers have a comfortable space for learning.

My daughter just moved in to her dorm at the University of Maryland. She, like her brother his freshman year, does not have AC in her dorm. Multiple emails have gone out with advice on how to “beat the heat” and now emails telling them they are putting mattresses in air-conditioned common areas and opening them for people to sleep if necessary. My daughter spent her first weekend at college at home because she couldn’t sleep in her room with temps at 90 degrees. She went back this morning just in time for her first class. We toured a lot of colleges last year. Maryland seems to be the last hold out in updating their dorms. I guess they think other things are more important. I’m not asking them to build luxury dorms. The traditional dorm is still fine, just add AC. We aren’t north enough to not have AC.

I know there are people who think “I didn’t have AC when I was in school and I was fine” but I disagree with that thinking for a coupe of reasons. First, I don’t think “it was good enough for me” is a good argument against advancement or updates. Shouldn’t we be working to make the world a better place? Even if that just means giving our kids a place where they can learn comfortably? Second, the world is getting hotter. These extreme temperatures are going to become more common. We have to be prepared for this. This is not the same world we lived in 30 years ago. Also – I had AC in my small town school in Kentucky 30 years ago and AC in my dorm in Kentucky. You’re way behind Maryland.

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14 Comments

  1. I remember managing the heat just fine when I was growing up. I was a child; it was easier. I agree that just because we managed without AC 60 years ago (for me), we should be able to get along without it now that it’s so prevalent. With school systems it can be a problem financially, but so many renovate aging schools that it could automatically be included in the next maintenance update.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with ya! Grew up in Ohio with no A.C., and we thought it got hot and humid in the summer. We had no idea what hot and humid is. Now, in Maryland, I definitely do. A friend came up from Miami last summer and complained that it was so much worse here than in FL. I need a good ocean breeze. I’ll be soaking it in, in OC this weekend. Until then, I’ll be in the A.C. I feel sorry for your daughter. For all you pay for UMD, they should do better.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your comment about “it was good enough for me” being used as a (very lame) excuse for not making reasonable upgrades and advancements in our environment. I remember when we lived in Wichita, Kansas and my oldest started kindergarten. No A/C in those schools either! Growing up in Minnesota A/C really wasn’t needed, but in Kansas? I couldn’t believe it. How can kids truly learn and grow intellectually if they are overheated and wiping sweat off their brows all the time?

    Liked by 1 person

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