The opening day of the deer rifle season in the Midwest is a big deal—to the point of where it feels like a national holiday. In fact, in some areas, schools shut down altogether. I remember opening mornings when I was in high school. Nearly half the school (including myself) were seemingly sick on the same day every year. Of course, this made it awkward to return in the afternoon for football practice (that was one activity I couldn’t afford to miss), but all of the teachers and coaches knew the why and where behind our absences, so they didn’t give us any grief. One year I remember having an particularly spiteful teacher who scheduled a test for opening day, knowing full well most of the class wouldn’t be there to take it. In the end, enough people complained and he allowed those who were gone to take the test again later in the week. It felt good to make the teacher rework the class schedule in the name of deer season. I’m curious who else plays hooky when the most important outdoor-holiday falls on a school day? —Ben