63°F & Clear 7 day forecast Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Musings on Snowpocalypse 2014

Welcome back, Lakers. Congratulations: if you’re reading this, you survived the Snowpocalypse 2014.

As a mature adult, I’m sure you understand that nothing says “selfish” more than actively hoping for awful weather conditions which indirectly lead to the deaths of other human beings. But, altruism be damned, that didn’t stop you from playing into the superstitious antics of “snow day black magic,” did it? Who cares if you’re 21 years old? Admit it. Right alongside the rest of us, you flushed ice cubes down the toilet, slept with a spoon under your pillow, wore your pajamas inside out, and ventured outside to perform a snow dance for the snow gods. “Aren’t you a little bit old for that?” your mother may have asked. To which you probably replied, “No, Mom, this shit works. Trust me.”

When the good news came, we screamed together, cried together, fist-bumped that random dude in line at Meijer together, cracked open a beer together, and then—together— logged onto Facebook to post a socially redundant status about our sweet, sweet bliss.

But of course, there’s always a hater. That one Facebook friend who’s pissed about losing the $50-$75 per day we’re all paying to attend college. Deep down, you know maybe she has a point, but who’s that morally self-righteous, anyway? Knowledge as an end in itself, yadda yadda. Please. You have a Netflix account to attend to. We’ve got 14.5 more weeks for all that learning stuff.

And then there’s the Type A professor who’s in a tizzy because mother nature dared interfere with their syllabus. You open your inbox only to receive three or four formal, but passive aggressive emails detailing homework assignments, make-up readings, and various updated versions of the syllabus. You wish you could reply, “Calm down, Prof, nobody cares about the sociology of consumerism as much as you do.”

But, of course, you didn’t.

Instead, you probably spent your snow day on one of two possible paths:

1. The 72 hour party scene:

Where you’re surrounded by all your friends and anything goes. Staying up until 6am, playing video games, competing in a snowball fight until the snot freezes in your nostrils, holding a Star Wars movie marathon, daring one another to roll around in a snowbank wearing only underwear, and—by ordering Papa John’s—forcing some poor sap to freeze his buns off so you can share a steaming hot pizza.

2. The 72 hour Netflix binge:

Where you retreat to your bedroom, eat potato chips, watch seven seasons of Breaking Bad, The Office, and Dexter, and—by ordering Papa John’s—force some poor sap to freeze his buns off so you can enjoy a steaming hot pizza. . . all to yourself. No one’s around to judge you anyway.

It is pretty strange—you remember thinking to yourself as you burned your tongue on dripping, hot cheese—the kind of services that society finds “essential” amidst natural emergencies. . . Papa John’s, Burger King, Meijer, those people in bright yellow vests who enforce parking on campus. The weather’s too bad to risk the lives of students and church-goers, but the modern world would rip at the seams without access to fast food or parking lot justice. Maybe your sociology of consumerism professor has something right. . . Oh well, you still don’t regret ordering Papa John’s.

Anyway, you’re back to school now. The Winter semester has begun. Standing at the bus stop in below zero weather, trudging through campus in wet boots—next time, you’ll go for function over fashion—and studying in the M.I.P. Library with a hot cup of overly-priced Argo Tea.

Ah, these truly are the glory years.



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