Fordham GSAS: Grad. Life: Snow, or No?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Snow, or No?
   With some "snow showers" predicted vaguely and half-heartedly for this evening in the GSAS area, I've heard comments that run the gamut from "Nooooooo, please, no!" to "Snow, pleaaaaaase, snow!" What gives?? As we GSAS students scan the map, seeing our fellow graduate students in Boston, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Michigan about to receive another unambiguous snowy incident, while our region hovers on the "less than 1 inch" borderline, a distinctive split between disappointment and relief rushes into our minds. For some, a dilemma seems to pull on our heartstrings. I've heard my fellow students say they'd like at least one more great big ole snowstorm before the winter's over. I've heard others say they'd like to get through the rest of the winter "unscathed," without any more snow or winter storms, sliding smoothly into a spring with warmer, non-wintry rain.
    Why do some of us pray for no snow, while others dream of waking up to a winter wonderland, and some are caught in between? A person's past experience with snow seems to have some bearing in which camp they fall into, although the patterns are not consistent. Some of us GSAS students were accustomed to the four-season climate like we have in the Bronx, and so being accustomed to it makes us yearn for it -- ie, "It doesn't feel like winter without snow." Yet, the opposite sentiment is heard 'round the student population as well -- ones who are exhausted by the inconveniences that snowstorms evoke.

   For some, it is a novel experience. Those GSAS students who grew up in areas without snow, in moderate climates without four distinct seasons as we have in the Northeast, may yearn for it because it is new and exciting. And, some of this group, as I have heard, want to stave it off for the very same reason -- they feel unequipped for snow, and just want it to be calm and mild.
     Nostalgia plays a role for those who have stored up good memories of snowy days. Memories of bundling up, sledding, catching snow-flakes on the tongue, throwing snowballs, building snow-men, and then coming home, unwrapping yourself, and drinking something warm, rise to the surface when it snows, flooding us with emotional warmth and comfort.

   For some, it is less nostalgic and more sensory. I've talked to some individuals who like and enjoy the physical sensations of a snowy day -- the whipping wind, the soft landing of the flakes, the crunch of a boot, the sting of the cold, the smell of a blanketed street, the quiet of the snowy night or morning.

   And of course, there is always the chance for a cancelled class or two.  But for grad students, might the inconveniences outweigh all this fun stuff? What about shoveling cars and drives and sidewalks? How about the inconveniences of a closed library or an icy city block as you hustle to campus?

    It seems, in the end, that graduate students of the GSAS wouldn't mind one more snow storm -- in which camp do you fall? Are you feeling "no please no," or "snow, please, snow!"? Write in to let us "sknow."
Either way, stay safe and warm tonight!! -- Liza Z.

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