Declare your own personal snow day

Ryan Szymczak

Let’s face it. No matter how much of this white stuff piles up, “Kent State University – Classes Canceled” is not going to find its way onto a school closing ticker any time soon.

So if you’re lucky enough to complete the commute here successfully, avoid pile-ups, defy zero-visibility and avoid the urge to turn your swerving, salt-spackled vehicle back toward the direction of your bed – which is still warm – then you’ll find yourself in park, gazing out with anguish at a snow globe on speed.

Certainly, you’ll shake your head in a “why me?” sort of way before pushing your door open to find your hands have instantly turned a few beaten hues of pink.

Then, sloshing through ridges of brown slush, you’ll track your way through your schedule, making stops at Bowman, Satterfield, and Business Administration to find two of your three classes are canceled anyway and only you and some coughing/sneezing classmate were brave enough to weather the weather.

Your professor will walk in, conduct a session that runs about half the usual time, and say things she’s sure to repeat next class to get everyone else caught up.

You’ll get up to leave, zipping, buttoning, latching, wrapping, and bundling yourself, while noticing the murky puddles beneath the desks of you and sick boy. Sick boy will sneeze in your direction and smile. He’ll sniffle and smear whatever is dripping out of his nose back up there with an open palm before attempting to hand you the pen you leant him earlier that class. “Keep it,” you reply.

Isn’t winter fun?

If you’re one of these responsible types who feel a severe sense of guilt when your name isn’t inked on an attendance sheet, make note:

“Trotting in frigid temperatures is not a significant means to keeping you warm,” said Keith C. Heidorn, author of “And Now . the Weather” and frequent contributor to National Public Radio. “Movement actually reduces clothing’s effectiveness by 20 percent.”

Heidorn suggests wearing several layers as opposed to one thick coat to maintain a healthy temperature.

“If you’re shivering, that’s your body attempting to increase your metabolic heat input,” he said.

Your body temperature is getting lower and your brain is slowing down. You’re unable to think clearly and move as well as your normally would. This means note taking is going to be physically and mentally trying. Well, more so than usual.

By the way, Heidorn warns that “when the surface of your skin is exposed to below freezing temperatures for an extended period of time, ice crystals begin to form within the live cells of the skin, killing them in the process.”

Pesky little ice crystals.

That’s OK. The tip of your nose is overrated anyway. Rest assured that come spring time, stubs are going to be the new must-have.

In the meantime, you have three options tomorrow morning:

1. Stay indoors and declare your own personal snow day.

2. If you dare, do all of your classmates a favor. All you need is a computer, 7 cents in FlashCash, a call number, a disregard for severe repercussions and a strip of Scotch tape. It’s that easy.

Your third choice? Lose your nose.

It’s up to you.

Ryan Szymczak is a junior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].