Snow days aren’t fun for everyone
By Raoul Biron, Staff Writer
People react strangely to snow. Granted, I haven’t been around it very often, but a few feet of fluffy water covers the ground and people start doing ludicrous things. It seems like there’s a contract during a snowstorm. If you can be outside, you can do whatever you want there. This very subdued and mutual anarchy makes blizzards fun. I’ve never felt like an idiot for walking up a set of stairs before, but during the snowstorm I’m just an inconvenience to kids excited to finally be using the snowboard that sits in their room.
Falling doesn’t hurt as much when snow covers the ground, so people launch themselves down hills on food trays or pull their friends on an air mattress through Durham. Somehow the combination of how inconvenient it is to do anything outside and the fact that everything is fluffy means people are doing (and getting away with) amazing, odd things.
You have an excuse to finally wear ski goggles and get the chance to fall down a hill without people questioning it.
In my opinion, storms result in extremes.
I’m either inside doing everything I can to stay warm and taking it easy or outside burying myself in snow or jumping down a hill. Seeing people lugging sleds uphill or building an igloo is a relief. If there are people having fun outside it means they aren’t worrying about having to shovel snow, being stuck at an airport, being without power, or just staying warm.
In the right circumstances, a storm like Juno means that you get a snow day (or two). You have an excuse to finally wear ski goggles and get the chance to fall down a hill without people questioning it, all while knowing that we have a decently warm and decently dry place to go back to.
I know that we as students collectively paid to be in a situation where we don’t have to worry about things like that, but we also didn’t have to organize or fret over it. Storms cause headaches and things to worry about. If you’ve found yourself having a really good time in a blizzard today like I have, just make sure to enjoy it; realize that your socks are too wet to worry about, hit that hill again and do some goofy things because you are in a situation where you can afford to and that’s amazing.
Students come out of cottages to play in snow
By Nick Stoico, Executive Editor
While state officials called for New Hampshire residents to stay indoors as winter storm Juno passed through the southern part of the state, UNH students such as junior Justin Diercks decided to forego their warnings and get outside.
Diercks, along with a dozen other students joined together for a game of football at the Cottages of Durham on Tuesday afternoon. Catching up on schoolwork was also on the agenda, but play came first.
“I hate driving in the snow, but I didn’t have to drive today,” Diercks said. “I’ll probably get some work done later, but for now we just want to enjoy this.”
Diercks added that the group played football after the snowfall over the weekend. When he saw the snow coming down Tuesday morning, he knew they needed to get back out for another game.
“How often is a blizzard like this going to happen?” Diercks said. “We got the day off so we decided to come out and play again.”
Watching the game from the sideline was Erin Hepinstall, a junior majoring in communications. It was the first time Hepinstall had stepped outside and said the weather was not as bad as she had expected.
“I’ll probably spend the rest of the day watching movies, sleeping,” Hepinstall said with a laugh. “I thought it was going to be a little bit worse, but this is pretty intense.”
Classes kicked off for the spring semester last week. As of Tuesday afternoon, university operations are scheduled to resume Wednesday at noon.
The Woodsides: silent and snowy except for skiiers
By Greg Laudani, Staff Writer
Here at the Woodsides, winter storm Juno is keeping pretty much everyone glued to their laptops and TVs. The winding road that sweeps around the apartments is completely covered in knee-deep, powdery snow. Plows came through at around noon to push some of the snow off to the side, but nobody appears willing to challenge the roads right now.
A couple of Durham Police cars have passed through, but that’s about it. Nobody wants to mess around driving in what is supposed to be a historic storm. However, there are some people on campus that are embracing Juno.
Several members of the UNH Nordic Ski Team were happy to see Juno leave its mark on campus. Lizzie Gill, a sophomore skier on the squad, said that curtailed operations means a day of fun for her and her teammates.
“For us, getting so much snow on campus is really exciting,” Gill said. “We usually take the day off as a break from regimented training, and just aim to have a fun day on skis.”
Gill said that snow days give the team bonding time and an opportunity to explore campus.
“Our team always has a great time together, making the most of the snow by touring campus or College Woods,” Gill said.
Nordic ski team takes advantage of snow
By Tom Spencer, Staff Writer
Members of the UNH Nordic Ski team looked out the window, and saw an opportunity in the blizzard. They set out into the middle of Juno, the Nor’Easter pounding the East Coast around 10 a.m. on Jan. 27.
The team trudged through powdered snow with skis and poles to the Thompson Hall parking lot. They set up a path running down the back of the hill, over the footpath, and ending in a jump into the natural basin created by the surrounding hills.
They waited along side the trail while a member got ready at the edge of the parking lot at the top of library hill. A teammate cried, “send it!” and the skier at the top would shoot down over the improvised jump and land in a white puff of snow at the bottom. The snow was deep enough to bury the skiers upon landing, and they would dig themselves out laughing.
“We’re just touring around,” said Sam Reed, a member of the team. “Shredding the pow-pow.”
According to Reed, the team does this almost every snow day. The hill behind Thompson Hall is a favorite of the ski team, according to Teagan Yutrzeka, UNH nordic skiier.
“It’s the best for making jumps because it’s the biggest,” Yutrzeka said.
The team has a race this weekend, but today is just about having some fun.
“It’s fun to get a break from regular training and enjoy the snow,” said Emily Larson, a member of the team. “It’s lots of fun.”
The skiers of library hill
By Catey McCann, Staff Writer
For some students, a blizzard is an opportunity to curl up in his or her dorm room and watch movies. For others, it’s a chance to do a little skiing and snowboarding on library hill. Ben Fruth and his friends chose the latter.
“You can’t really do a whole lot today,” he said. “So we decided to come out here and make the most of the snow day.”
Strapped into their skis and boards, they each took turns speeding down a trail about 300-meters long that they had fairly compacted down. They even had a small jump constructed at the end. The powdery snow allowed them to collapse down at any point.
Typically crowded with students on sleds, tubes and dining hall trays, Library Hill was oddly vacant for a snow day at the University of New Hampshire.
“We’ve been out here for at least an hour,” Fruth said. “And we’ve probably seen about 20 people.”
It was mid-afternoon and the hill was empty except for the two groups of skiers and snowboarders. The high winds made for low visibility; the powdery snow was difficult to sled through.
But that didn’t discourage Fruth – who seemed content to spend his day out on the hill. After his time outside? “I think I’ll go inside and drink some hot chocolate,” he said.
A personal recount of Tuesday morning
By Hadley Barndollar, Staff Writer
I woke up this morning warm as can be, brewed a strong coffee and sat by the window admiring the white accumulation swirling outside my window.
Having lived in Massachusetts all my life, this is nothing new to me. I’ve been putting spoons under my pillow and wearing my pajamas inside out since I was in kindergarten.
Being from New England, we’re spoiled in that way. Once it’s announced that we do in fact have school or work, sighs of angst fill the atmosphere and hope is let go that alarm clocks could be turned off and hot chocolate consumed all day. How nice it is to know that on a day like today, most of New England is indoors enjoying the simplicities of the home — whether that be a family house, a college dorm or a homeless shelter.
Because of the snow, we actually get to decompress. It’s quite tranquil. While we watch the flurries build from inches to feet, we are forced to step back from the average work or school day and organically absorb the wonder of Mother Nature.
Talking about sentimentalities, I find it important to remember that there are many without a home on days like this.
In an article by the Christian Science Monitor, it’s estimated that about 700 homeless people die annually during storms in the United States. New York City drop-in centers are required to give shelter to as many people as possible during these next few days, as well as provide outreach teams on the streets to service those in need. Boston and New York City are taking extreme measures this year to assist the homeless in the 2015 Blizzard.
So as I sit here, in my 312-square-foot apartment, my coffee is hot, my candles are burning and my soul is grateful. Happy snow day, folks.