Now that the snow seems to have stopped for a while, Zags may be rejoicing what seems to be the end of winter. However, I would caution students that while the worst may be over, the danger is far from gone. We have entered into a precarious cycle of puddles and ice, endlessly soaking our socks through our shoes and minutes later viciously hurling freshmen and seniors alike to the frosty ground. Moving from class to class has never been so treacherous.Here is a definitive list of all the times of day it really sucks to be outside.
Waking up for your 8 AM has been tricky this whole semester, but now you have to carefully navigate the ice rink that is campus. You tread carefully, concentration fully on your own two feet and the cup of burning hot coffee in your hand. Sliding one foot in front of the other, there is no time to consider how ridiculous you look, and you get some solace from the fact that there are around 50 other people doing the same perverse version of the Cupid’s Shuffle that you are.
The sun is blazing down on campus now, and as you leave your classroom, you breathe a sigh of relief. The ice should be melted. You are right. But at what cost? The cost is the price of the water damage inflicted on your new suede booties as you sludge through lake after lake of snowman vomit on your way to the COG. Grow up kid, did you really think it was going to get better? We’re in this for the long haul so buckle up.
Maybe the safest part of the day for journeys by foot, the water is slightly harder but not quiet frozen yet. Run home children, while you still can. This sweet spot spells nothing but hardships to come, but do not let the colors of the dying light soothe your soul for too long. This is the time for vigilance as the golden hour is also the hour of black ice. The silent killer, it lurks on dark pavements and in shadowy corners. It will get you when you least expect it, and even worse, it will make you look bad. To the casual bystander, you just slipped and fell on nothing. Scramble up, fool, and keep going as if nothing happened. Let this be a lesson to you to never trust again.
Back to ice, but this time there is no hope for the future. The sun is gone and this ice is only going to get harder and slipperier as night descends and the temperature drops. This is the time for strategy and self-protection. For example, consider walking behind your friend in order to see where they slip and skid so you can accurately prepare yourself to avoid those patches. And if they go down, let them go down. This is a dog-eat-dog world, and you didn’t come here to make friends, you came to survive. Hunger Games your way home and hole up for the night.