Monday, February 7, 2011

A Celebratory Eve

After trekking across campus in almost knee deep snow with a venti chai tea latte in my hand, I arrived at my friend’s apartment. Once inside, I removed my snowy jeans since in the winter it is my custom to wear leggings for added warmth under all of my pants. With exuberance, I bounced downstairs to discover another friend reclining on her bed with a book in hand. We spent an hour catching up. After discussing the monotonies of life, she delved into her most recent date while I hung on her every word. As the conversation ebbed, Brittany and I decided to participate in the activity of the house.

While the blustery wind yowled outside, five girls sat contentedly in a sauna like room with homework and teaching assignments out. The temperature of the room seemed almost tropical and no one was permitted to turn the temperature down because there was a fear the electricity might go off. Instead of blankets and hot chocolate, we sat in summer ware and ate ice cream.

As the youngest in the room, I had class work to finish. However, all the other girls were working on creating class plans for the following day. Every other sentence seemed to be a wish for a snow day. One girl obsessively checked the listing of schools closed. With every refreshing of the page, another school was cancelled. As the snow fell in tiny bullets, the anticipation mounted. One by one each girl cheered as they discovered their school was closed. They would not student teach the following day. After all the girls except me had cheered in their snow day, one girl finally chirped, “Bethel College is closed.”

The pressures of tomorrow were eased.

Someone exclaimed, “We should watch a movie!”

“What type of movie?” I asked

“A chick flick. Definitely.” Another replied.

Before long, five college girls sat enraptured before a chick flick. Every once in a while someone expressed frustration at the television since it was beyond annoying with its buzzing and humming. Personally, I believe that the television was harmonizing with the wind. Once the movie ended, we all sat in contentment. No one needed to work. Our time was open and we were at a loss of what to do. Rarely did such a break explode upon our school weeks. We looked at our nails and some laptops popped open for instant amusement.

“Dennisse, would you paint my finger nails?” With that question, the entire room erupted in a chorus of similar questions. Nail polish appeared and little girl chatter ensued. To the music of our girlhood d.j.ed from youtube, we embarked on a night that was reminiscent of many middle school sleepovers. We celebrated the eve of a snow day.

As curfew approached, I worked quickly in designing my friend’s finger nails. In my head, I fought a battle of indecision. I had no idea if I wanted to go back to my apartment or stay the night in this summery house of middle school memory. Thoughts of my bed wooed me.

At a quarter to one in the morning, I pulled on my jeans and crammed my boots onto my feet. With a glorious sending off of good byes, I slowly plowed my way out into the gusty night. The snow did not seem much higher than before except that it coated every surface. With snowflakes trying to imbed themselves into my face and my feet dragging through the weight of the snow, I slowly made my way back to my apartment. As I walked on an invisible sidewalk that I had to trust the existence of, I was struck by the hush of the world. Nothing moved except a million little white blurs. There were no cars on the usually semi-busy four lane road. It was almost quiet. It was odd.

For a moment, I stopped midway. Unable to fully turn my head because of my scarf, I did a slow turn about myself. It was eerie.

“This is what it must be like to be alone in the world. This is what it would feel like if the world ended and I was the only one left.”

It was odd and uncomfortable. Momentarily, I wondered if I was suddenly alone in the world. Cold breath of reality filled my lungs when I happily saw the headlights of a huge truck lumbering down the road. I jauntily continued my trek.

Upon returning to my dorm, I swiped into the building, greeted my roommates, and was in the process of removing my winter gear when the door alarm sounded. I jumped. With a look of horror, I rushed out of my room to see that the bank of snow that I had walked through when I had opened the door had kept the door jarred. Firmly, I grasped the handle of the door and yanked it shut. Cringingly, I returned to my room expecting at any moment to be jumped by some angry dorm-mate who had been woken by my stupidity.

My snow day began late and lovely at the hour of ten. Sleepily, I rolled out of bed and happily greeted my roommates. Being practical women, we all shot for productivity with a mixture of fun. In a strange conglomeration of film and paper, I finished an action movie while reading bits and pieces of David Copperfield. Breakfast was inconsequential. Lunch delighted me since one of my roommates and I combined our culinary skills to fashion a chicken-rice-pea-with-white-sauce-creation. A group of eleven friends procured dinner at the college student favorite of Tradewinds.

The evening closed with a game of Jenga 32 layers tall which is almost twice the size of the original tower. Many students had gathered in the lobby of the Lodge to play games, watch movies, work on homework, and talk. Contentedly, we interacted in the safety of the Lodge with a view of the fluffy stark landscape.

Around midnight, the fairy tale of a snow day struck out. Reality came prancing back into our minds. Homework must be finished. Thursday would come and it would be demanding. The shimmering hours of magic left and the freezing cold of reality returned gripping us students by our necks.