Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This post is a shout-out to all non-Minnesotans from sunny-sweet, perennially-perfect weather states/countries: it pays to live in the tundra. I'm talking to you Californians, Floridians and Ivory Coastians. Subarctic temperatures, howling winds and grey skies might not sound like your cup of tea, but there is one thing that winter's good for and that's snow. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that there is a positive correlation between exponential snow increase and exponential happiness increase of those in the snowy climate. Not only does the fluffy precipitation precipitate snowball fights, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, snowman-construction, and endless other applications (including cheap advertising for campus events), but also on rare and momentous occasion when the snow gods shine their mercy upon lowly, toilsome mortals, snow = S N O W D A Y

(The Spring Fest line-up: musical groups MNDR, The Dodos and Dan Deacon performing).

And Monday, February 21st, 2011, shall forever be marked in Macalester history as The Snow Day of 2011.

I was enjoying a calm Sunday evening in, finishing up my reading for 19th Century British Novel (Villette by Charlotte Bronte) when there was a sudden loud ruckus in the hall outside. Cheering, hollering, and general raucousness rang out. I ignore it, assumed it had no bearing on my existence and continued to read. But then there was another flare of cheering . . . and another . . . and another after that, all in quick succession.

(Remnants of Snow Fort built outside of the Campus Center)
My boyfriend returns from the bathroom and asks, "Do you know why they're cheering in the hallway?"


"Snow day tomorrow."

My mind did the arithmetic in a whirl:

Snow Day Tomorrow = No Classes Tomorrow = No Homework Today

I chucked Charlotte Bronte aside and frantically logged into my email account to test the fantasy against reality. There it was: the email from Jim Hoppe announcing that school was cancelled on Monday due to the gargantuan influx of snow that had started late that evening, would persist throughout the night and would not be cleared in time for professors to safely commute to campus. Facebook abounded with updates:

"Fasho! Minnesota winter's good for something."

"MY FIRST SNOW DAY!!!" (Kid from Hawaii)


"My five year old self's dream has come true: a snow day at last!"

"snowwwwwwww dayyyyyyyyyyy."

Needless to say the student body shared in my excitement.

Now I can't remember which rumor I heard-- whether there hadn't been a snow day since the 70s or if there hadn't been a snow day in 70 years in Macalester history-- regardless, the occasion was a rare one, indeed and one deserving of strict and reverent observance. So how'd I pass my snow day, you might ask? With the possibility of 24 entirely unadulterated free hours, unanticipated, a whole world of opportunities unfurled before me, and what did I do? Well, I did something that a Mac student has very rare occasion to do: a b s o l u t e l y n o t h i n g.

I was lazy, listless and languid for 24 hours. I didn't touch my homework. I slept in, slothed around all day, only emerging for food and smoothies. And it was fantastic.

The moral of the story: winter is good. Winter is very, very good.