Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Classes Cancelled

Ah, the nostalgia. I remember those glorious days. 10 years old, clad in batman in pajamas, and tucked cleanly into bed. My mom tiptoeing into the bedroom, carefully stepping over toy cars and bent baseball cards. She'd nudge me out of my beautifully innocent dream world and whisper that school was canceled. I could sleep in, while outside, the snow whipped into huge, ugly drifts that accumulated like tumors in our wind-swept yard.

10 years removed, and I wake to the venomous drone of a glowing alarm clock. No love, no whispers, just a loud reminder of the harsh rigidity of college. I'm usually dragged out of a gritty dream-world more obscene than New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Colleges, everyone knows, don't issue snow-days. After all, the thick white stuff doesn't impede on scientific progress or clog the pursuit of academic excellence. Or does it?

Today, at the University of Iowa, classes were canceled. As Iowa City was hammered by a slow-moving winter-storm that slobbered huge amounts of wet, heavy snow, students were granted an official snow day. Instead of Hot Cocoa, I sipped black coffee, and instead of watching cartoons and sledding with the neighbors, I pored over notes and caught up on homework. But, it was a snow day, nonetheless. The typical daily grind of classes, reports, presentations, and daring expeditions to lecture halls filled with sniffling, snow-covered students braving the February-term was put on hold.

Now Iowa City, like a stay-at-home mom saturated in T.V. soap operas and wholesome home cookin', has gained an extra layer of unwanted mush. A foot of cold, gray snow coats everything and makes walking to the Kwik-Trip an unthinkable chore. But, like that same stay-at-home mom, resolved by the start of a New Year to shed the weight, our city is slowly mobilizing into action. The plows are easing into the routine, careful to avoid the nooks and neglect the crannies. Sidewalks are haphazardly shoveled. Ice-swollen tree limbs have fallen, but few are picked up.

Now, as the city recharges and stares down another long work-day ahead, it is back to the grind. Students, too, are forced to face the imminent reality of lecture halls, sloppy commutes, and water-soaked backpacks. Nose to the grindstone now.

But, the illusion was nice.

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