Welcome to ‘Spring’ Semester

I remain convinced “spring semester” is the grossest misnomer of all time. “Spring” carries with it connotations of warmth and cheer, new flowers, green grass. Instead, we get a frozen wasteland. Complete with high winds and blowing snow, perpetually coming from wherever it is you want to walk.

PHOTO COURTESY flickr.com | A rare glimpse of NDSU’s dastardly zamboni driver, who usually polishes ice under the cover of darkness.

Welcome back. Isn’t it lovely? Light dustings of snow nicely complement underlying layers of compacted ice, turning the roads into deadly rinks where unsuspecting students play chicken with buses.

It all looks pretty, I have to admit. But the gently falling snow turns campus downright deadly. I watched three people biff it on the same patch of ice this morning. The first one windmilled wildly, spraying coffee in every direction before landing in an unsightly sprawl, which distracted two passersby and resulted in an unfortunate three person pileup, complete with a cloud of lost papers and a frantic scramble to gather them up before they blew away.

I’m pretty sure the maintenance staff keeps a zamboni around, just for entertainment purposes.

Thus far, I’ve foiled the rogue groundskeeper with a zamboni. But only because I’ve learned to recognize slippery patches by the lingering hints of embarrassment in the air. (The embarrassment from particularly spectacular falls can linger for up to three days.) That, and I’ve perfected the art of flailing, which helps. I left my dignity behind years ago.

But if you, unlike me, would like to retain some small sliver of pride, the real thing you need to learn to survive the death trap that is our icy campus is the art of the dignified fall. The trick is to be purposeful. Instead of flailing in resistance, you must embrace the fall. Be the fall. When you find yourself on the ground, commence with making a snow angel. Nobody will know the difference. (Except for me, but don’t worry, I won’t give away your secret.)

Let’s look at the bright side, though. The days are getting longer, and soon all of that seasonal depression will be gone. We’ll make it yet.

But here it is: my best advice for surviving the semester of icy death is to keep a thermos of special cocoa and a sense of humor. And watch out for zambonis.

Sadly, spring is yet a long way off. Let the frozen trudge begin.

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