A day in the winter

Mike Crissman

It’s 10:30 a.m., and it’s cold as shit.

I’m not very happy because A. I have to wake up so early in the morning, and B. I’m freezing. I sit up in my dorm room bed, quickly turn off my loud, obnoxious cell phone alarm and pull back the curtain covering the window next to me. I peer outside to check the weather, as I do every morning, and see the very thing I suspected: a frigid, windy winter “wonderland.”

I lie back down and close my eyes again, telling myself I’ll only sleep for a few more minutes — but I know better. My alarm won’t wake me up in case I fall asleep because I didn’t hit snooze; I shut it off. So I begrudgingly, and responsibly, get out of bed. As I walk across my room to put on some warm clothes, I let out a really hard and phlegmy cough, remembering the sickness that ails me; the same sickness that originated from my aforementioned bedside window, which was wide open on a 30-something-degree night three weeks ago.

I make my way down the shabby halls of Olson Hall and into the second floor bathroom. Whoa! It’s way too cold for a bathroom. I see that some jackass left the window open over night in one of the stalls. I also see that about five inches of snow has accumulated on said windowsill. I see that an icicle has formed on the faucet of the adjacent sink. I see that the top layer of water in the toilet is frozen. I flush it and some of the water flushes, while the ice chunk stays intact. I admit to myself that’s kind of cool.

I brush my teeth and whatnot, go back to my room, put books in my book bag, throw on a coat and head outside to walk to my 11 a.m. class at Franklin Hall. I step outside and am immediately confronted by a breeze of freeze, the likes of which I’ve never felt before. There’s snow blistering about and a crowd of students, with grimacing faces, shivering their way along the Esplanade. I join their ranks.

I start to use my September stride since I’m running a little late; however, I soon slow my speed, as the ground is super slick. I almost eat it on the ice, but I quickly regain my balance, saving myself from sure embarrassment. Once again, I regret my yearly decision to not buy boots. Forget Nikes; I need the pair of ice cleats Bear Grylls wears in “Man vs. Wild.” But I don’t, so baby steps it is.

Everyone walking to and from class adapts to the foot of snowfall on the ground by walking only in the narrow plowed trails. The long line of slow-moving pedestrians following each other resembles a long line of cautious drivers on the road in the same weather.

I take it slow, keeping my head low, making sure I don’t slip on the ice and crack my skull. As I continue my trek, Jack Frost continues to nip at my nose. A fat snow flake touches my neck, and I’m chilled to the bone. I start to consider taking my talents to South Beach. And then… I reach my destination. I walk through the doors of Franklin and am greeted by an abundance of warmth and coziness. I put all my winter worries behind me and begin walking to my class.

Although a quarter of my life will be spent in the season of winter, and days like this, it’s much too short to complain about. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope you feel the same way.

Mike Crissman is a sophomore newspaper journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]..