When all the World is Frozen

My parents are science teachers and are currently sitting at home on their fourth consecutive snow day.

My parents don’t particularly like snow days because they sit at home with nothing to do but read mystery novels (which is always a great past time) and their make up days don’t occur until June, when it’s actually warm and sunny.

But do colleges have snow days?

After Monday, apparently YES.

My freshman year, we had Snowpocalypse 2011 near the beginning of the winter term. My freshman roommate Mariah Nawrot ’14 and I stayed up really late at night and watched the snow fall increasingly faster and faster out of the Newberry window and onto the quad area by the volleyball court, and we wondered for a long time if we’d have to trudge to class through the over one foot of snow that we got in just a few hours.

Classes were cancelled the next day for the first time in what seemed like a million years, but it was something like… forty-five. Or twenty-eight. I’ve heard good cases for both numbers.

So when school was cancelled on Monday due to excessive snow and frigid temperatures, I wasn’t too surprised. And of course, all my senior friends were pretty excited that we got to witness TWO snow days in our esteemed four years at this fine institution known as Alma College.

But what does one do during snow days? You don’t have class or sports commitments. What do you do when there’s nothing to do?

Well, I braved the two degree temperatures with Jimmy Scollin ’16, Tyler Larson ’16, and Adam Mossoian ’16 and we built a snow fort outside of Bruske using a frying pan as our shovel.

It was really cold and I didn’t have snow pants. But once you actually sit inside of your snow fort with another person, it’s only a little bit freezing.

Adam and I in the great Bruske snow fort of 2014.

Last year when we almost had a snow day but it didn’t snow quite that much, I had a pretty big snow ball fight on the PMA lawn with the brothers. We also witnessed some SAE brothers making a snow slide, which looked pretty awesome and pretty dangerous.

Nobody is venturing outside in the absolute frigidness that the Midwest has been plunged into, but yesterday I bundled up and walked downtown to the post office. I really don’t recommend walking a mile when it’s negative ten outside, but it could’ve been colder and my nose didn’t fall off.

When it’s this cold, nobody’s holding meetings or anything because nobody wants to go outside. But Active Minds had their first meeting of the semester last night and a bunch of new people showed up. My opening remarks as president of the organization were “Thank you all for braving the cold to stomp out mental health stigma because it’s REALLY COLD and I didn’t even want to come.”

Sometimes the world stops when everything is snowbound and cold, but some things, like working to end mental health stigma, are never frozen.

When it finally warms up to about twenty degrees, I expect to see you guys sunbathing on the Chapel lawn like normally happens during spring term. I’m sure some people will because it will feel that warm.

Stay safe and warm out there, Alma. And if you get bored in all the cold, you can always build a fort with a frying pan. Just wear the proper clothes so your nose doesn’t fall off.

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