Darrian Davis, a ninth-grader at the National Academy Foundation, said he made a whopping $300 with his brothers shoveling sidewalks and cleaning off cars. He said he bought new sneakers, and he pulled a gleaming new smartphone from his pocket to show a visitor, another purchase from his snow earnings.
Still, he wanted to come back. "I missed my classmates," said Davis, 14.
"All the students have my cell phone number, so I got many, many texts and calls saying, 'What are you doing?' "
At Running Brook Elementary, Principal Troy Todd spent the morning giving high-fives to students and greeting parents.
"I'm sure everyone was struck with a little cabin fever," said Todd, who spent the early hours of the morning driving around the school's surrounding neighborhoods to make sure it was safe for students to return. Inside a fifth-grade classroom at Wellwood, children settled into their normal routine as they told happy stories, explaining how they experienced the storm with all their senses and talking about the joy of unexpectedly long days of play in the snow.
"It was a damp, moist snow. You could hear the snow drifting," said fifth-grader Aadish Balkiwal.
They relayed tales of building snow forts and igloos, eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate. One fifth-grader shared her amazement at being unable to see anything but snow when she sat in a big hole she had dug. Another talked about dealing with the occasional tediousness.
"We were watching the Olympics and I was kind of bored, so I put on five pairs of socks and skated around the kitchen," said Shouran Farasat.
The return after so long seemed strange to some. "I feel like it is the first day of school all over again," said Wellwood fifth-grader Ori Rattner.
Baltimore Sun reporters Liz Bowie and John- John Williams IV contributed to this article.