This week we rang in the first ever 434th annual month of February and I know I will not be shock- ing anyone too much by pointing out that it might as well be April 1 with the lack of snow on the ground. Traditionally, this has been the time where it was not abnormal to see temperatures hover at -20 ̊F for two weeks straight and, if you got too cold walking to class, you could always resort to construct- ing an igloo to hunker down in. I think the reason St. Lawrence has such a strong sense of community is, in part, because of this – there is nothing like classic hardship to bond people out of necessity. By making it through these brutal North Country winters, we earn our badges – grit, pluck, hardiness, tenacity, determination, persever- ance, guts, and a dollop of spunk. Winter is our campus-wide rite of passage and, traditionally, what does not freeze us acts as a re- minder of our basest corporeal instincts.
We need heat to survive and to thrive, especially in the out- doors. Heat from a hot meal that sustains us, heat from a hot cup of tea that hydrates us, heat from the two warmest places on our body (our armpits and crotch) to warm the extremities that, in the cold, our body has deemed unnecessary relative to our vital organs. So, what are we supposed to do when there is no snow? How can we pick up those extra scout badges of courage? Due to the seriousness of this question, the OC has decided the only thing left to do (other than convincing the student from last year to expand out of the Java quad and use his personal snow machine to service the entire campus) is to develop a few tactics for you to make your own sense of winter.
1) Go talk to anyone who is still getting out to the mountain. I see no lag in the amount of people who choose to spend their week- ends skiing or snowboarding, and for those on teams, practice contin- ues even if they are sliding on their edges or training in t-shirts
2) No snow means an extended hiking season – keep an eye out on the listserv this week for a few weekend hiking trips.
3) Titus is on our mind, and just to whet your whistle, we may or may not have some metal shop projects currently under way…
4) Go to Appleton arena’s open skate hours!
5) The climbing wall is in full swing – it is open to those of you who have never rock climbed in your life, those who have not
climbed in a while, as well as those who are looking to get back into shape, or those who want to work on sending that route you haven’t quite yet been able to complete.
6) That being said the swim- ming pool is open too – water polo anyone?
7) Recently, I have been seeking out times to go on walks by myself, especially early in the morning or around 5 o’clock at night just as the sun is setting and dusk tempers the day. Yesterday, I walked to the river and listened to the sound of the rushing current over a few remain- ing inches of ice, and the hollow resonance it made in the leafless forest. Nature is still out there my friends, just as it always will be. We may not be able to always count on a predictable season but we can be sure that we always have the choice to go outside and experience our surroundings. No matter what, that is something to take comfort in.
8) Cut out your own snowflakes and drop them down from the third floor of the student center, or make your own snow… Here is what you do: get 500g of baking soda and one can of shaving cream. Pour the bi- carbonate soda into a large bowl. Pour in your shaving cream. Give it a really good stir until all ingre- dients are well combined. Tada! SNOW.