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IT MAY be hard to see a bright side to all the dark nights, cold showers, and silent phones caused by the recent storm, but a few comments have led me to think that we might find an educational upside to all these downed electric wires.

My neighbor’s son, an adept high school social networker, strolled over about two hours into the power outage, looking curiously unfamiliar without his cellphone in hand. He asked to borrow a book.

I saw a friend at the coffee shop on her way to work, having left her kids at home to fend for themselves without electric entertainment. “They found some books,’’ she said, “so I guess they’ll read for a while.’’

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My middle school-aged son invited a friend who was still without power to sleep over. The boy, who can text faster than I can speak, arrived asking whether my son had read a particular book. “Jeez, how can you not have read it? It’s really good!’’

If the MCAS scores of particular Massachusetts towns seem unusually high this year, we’ll know where to point: Mother Nature.

Deb Sabin


Lexington