Only about half of the students showed for my 12:30 class Monday. Several no-shows emailed to say they just couldn’t come out in the frigid weather. Several more complained that our fine university had failed to declare a snow day.
It was about 0 degrees (Fahrenheit), and the wind chill was -20. But it hadn’t snowed much at all. The roads were clear and the air refreshingly brisk. We had three cold and glorious days — days that way too many chose not to embrace.
On my campus, students actually staged a protest to demand our president close the school and save them from the windchill. At nearby Akron U, over 1,000 joined a Facebook group making the same demand.
Then came this letter from a KSU alumnus who had heard about our winter woes. It appeared in the “letters” section of the Daily Kent Stater:
My girlfriend e-mailed me the recent articles about how the administration isn’t canceling classes for inclement weather, and I have to say that I feel really sorry for you guys. I mean, you have to walk to class when it’s cold and snowy outside? Geez, no wonder you’re upset – it sounds like life is pretty rough over there!
2nd Lt. Tony Cox, ’06
82nd Airborne Division
COB Speicher, Iraq
Thank you, Lt. Cox, for your letter and for your service.
Maybe I’m being unfair. You see, I love everything about winter. As I look out across ice-covered Sandy Lake, I feel sorry for my friends who moved to warmer climes. They’re missing the miracle of this extraordinary season.
But I feel even sorrier for those who live here but remain indoors huddled round their space heaters. It’s not healthy.
As we watched the start of an icy sunset, we also saw nature at work all around us. Several hundred Canada geese passed overhead, doubtless seeking some open water. Good luck, honkers!
Then we skied past the carcass of a goose that two days earlier had joined the food chain. Poor guy was picked clean by a bald eagle — a scene I had watched on Thursday through the binoculars. As I write this, the crows are scavenging what’s left.
So let me encourage the winter wimps to get out for a breath of dry arctic air. Take a hike. Or better yet, strap on the cross-country skis and get some real exercise. You may find, as I have, that winter is the best of all seasons.