Snow Day

Snow Day

      On Tuesday September 29, I woke up to about a half inch of snow. Winter doesn’t usually come this early, but the sky was losing gallons of rain in the weeks before. With the recent drop in temperature, snow was a logical weather choice after all, I supposed. I put on my Converse without thinking twice, but the flakes kept flittering down. Once night class started, I heard rumors of class being cancelled and the snow was guaranteed to bury my feet when I left for the dorms.
     I returned to the dorms after slipping through slush and getting covered in dainty white flakes. My feet were soaked to the skin and stinging from the cold, but I didn’t care. The school already e-mailed us. Class is cancelled for tomorrow, September 30, I read. Campus will remain open and class will resume on October 1. When I went to sleep, I dreamt of how I would spend my glorious day off.
     Looking out my window September 30, I saw snow covering the parking lot, trees, and cars. The landscape reminded me of the ski hill back home, fluffy like clouds.  Yet when I stepped outside, I was reminded that Fairbanks isn’t Montana.
The view from my dorm room window was a world of white.

     Many birch trees were broken, their branches overlaying the bike racks and sidewalks. They aren’t made for the amount of snow Montana’s lodgepole pines regularly sport. Even worse, the slush from last night still lurked under the snow. It waited till a foot took one nonchalant step. Then, it grabbed that foot and drug the owner down. I watched people slip on the hills all throughout breakfast. I had never seen so much snow in Fairbanks so early in the year.
Careful on those stairs!

     If one is cautious and prepared though, the snow is a beautiful reminder that seasons change and change is welcome. Before, I had to buy ice cream for a treat. I had to contemplate what to do with my free time, seeing that I already read those magazines on the shelf and homework could wait for another time. I even missed out on action adventures. What a dull existence! But after the snow’s appearance, life became interesting. My friends and I made snow cones—real snow cones with red-bull as the syrup. We weren’t bored for a minute as we built snowmen, admired the wintry campus trials, and threw snowballs at innocent signs. The best part was sliding down the SRC hill on anything from trash bags to top quality racer sleds, constructed from the finest purple plastic. Nearly the whole campus joined in on the fun.
Snow cones with actual snow! :)

     Of course, classes resumed the next day just as the e-mail said. I was a bit disappointed, but felt lucky once I heard that many people off campus lost power and were stuck in their own driveways. I shuffled down the sidewalk to class, trying not to fall on the slush that became ice. I admired the glittering white wonderland known as UAF Covered in Snow along the way. Fun memories are with me because of the early snow day. I’m fortunate to live where snow days actually happen and I have the opportunity to get the true Alaskan experience right outside the dorms.
Student Ambassador Heni Barnes and I enjoying the snow day on the trails.

Photos and story by Jessica Herzog

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