As winter creeps ever closer to our beloved prairie, we must all adapt to survive. I have learned, however, that some of our students may not be fully prepared for what awaits. I recently spoke with a freshman from California who seemed entirely too cheery at the thought of the weather for the next few months.
My subject opened up with cry of “Oh my gosh I love winter!”
I knew there was cause for alarm.
“Nothing makes me happier than knowing I go to school somewhere with all four seasons,” she gushed. “I mean, yeah, the cold snaps have been pretty chilly, but they’ve been followed by these beautiful 60 degree days! Plus I get to show off my super cute Ugg Boots! Assuming conditions stay like this I just don’t see how this can’t be great!”
She went on to thank the Exxon Mobil Corporation for their contribution to global warming before prancing away. I haven’t seen such foolish hope since University North Dakota tailgating section before we last played football.
Still reeling from this interview, I bumped into a senior from Fargo with a slightly different take on things. The first thing that struck me were the eyes. I’m not entirely sure how, but she had somehow moved beyond the thousand-yard stare and appeared to be looking into hell itself.
“It’s coming,” she numbly muttered. “I saw a snowflake on the ground the other day. We don’t have long.
“I’ve lost a lot of good friends out here in the winter. As in I literally lost them. They fell into snowbanks and have never been seen since.”
I asked this tortured soul for advice.
“First things first, don’t trust the weather so far,” she muttered. “This place is cruel, and I can only assume the lack of snow on the ground before Halloween means that January and February will bring nothing but eternal darkness.
“Second, eat as much discount Halloween candy as possible. The extra layer of blubber is invaluable when your tears start freezing to your face on the way to class.
“Third, forget the words ‘snow day’ even exist. That kind of hope can drive you mad.”
At this point, a gust of wind blew over us and my interviewee hissed before sprinting to her destination. I can only hope she didn’t encounter the freshman I interviewed earlier.