Words aren’t working for me today. Pictures instead:
Words aren’t working for me today. Pictures instead:
Last Thursday, I wore three pairs of pants. Butler’s campus remained mostly covered in ice and snow, and the weather website listed the recorded low as negative 8 degrees. Fahrenheit.
One week later and students are walking around in shorts. I didn’t go quite that far–I still had a scarf and coat–but it was wonderful to ride my bike again. I don’t understand the Midwest. We were all:
And now it’s springtime!? What happens next week? (Besides the Dance Department’s Midwinter Dance Festival, of course.) Sometimes I miss the East Coast.
Right, I promise my next post will not be about the weather or food. I’m been quite busy lately and have loads to tell you.
As Andre and Steph have blogged about already, the Butler campus has been coated with ice. Yesterday we got the news that classes were canceled today, and around three o’clock today my cell phone rang–no classes tomorrow!
The above picture doesn’t look overly impressive, but that’s mostly solid ice. Last night came the freezing rain, and it precipitated intermittently throughout the day. Tonight it is supposed to snow. Even Chicago public schools are having a snow day tomorrow. My goodness.
All this extreme weather does have me worried, however. There were the Australian floods and the soon-to-be Australian cyclone Yasi. There were Brazilian landslides and mudslides. And now this.
Nevertheless, today was fairly productive. I finished a novel for my Literature of the American Renaissance class. I wrote a short, short response to it. I edited a two page response to a poem for my Romanticism class. And I worked on my Butler Summer Institute proposal for almost four hours straight.
Afterwards, I hung out with a friend and watched Doctor Who. It was a good day, if a bit miserable outside. If you are in the Midwest, bundle up!
I don’t smoke and doubt I ever will. Personally, I think it’s rather icky, and I can’t stand the smell. However, I never really notice too many students smoking on Butler’s campus, which is why the email we received a few days ago was pleasant but unexpected.
Once I had read the email, I began to recall conversations concerning the smoking ban discussion that occurred last year. Here’s what’s happening, according to the message from the Dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and chair of the Smoke-Free Campus committee, Mary Andritz: “The University has modified its smoking policy to allow smoking exclusively in a small number of designated outdoor areas on campus and prohibit smoking while walking on all campus property. The designated areas are in locations outside of frequently traveled pathways and entrances to buildings.”
What do you think? I approve of the new policy. While I would like to ban smoking simply because I dislike the smell of smoke and the fear the health effects of second-hand smoke, I understand there are numerous issues with enforcement and safety and even civil rights. (Though what of my right to breath smoke-free air?) I think this will be a good compromise to protect the health of both smokers and non-smokers. Thoughts? Praise? Vehement disagreement?
I am from Richmond, Virginia, out of state, and without transportation of the automobile variety. Actually, Butler University permits all students–including freshmen–to have a car on campus. Steph made a great video about her favorite parking space a while back. For more information on Butler’s car and parking policies, visit these links links links!
This discussion of cars provides the perfect segue to tell you about my recent driving experience. I don’t have a car on campus, so I don’t get a chance to practice driving in all that lovely, lovely, terrible snow. Hence, the few inches of snow still in the driveway to my hairdresser’s proved to be my downfall.
When one drives over snow, it makes a horrid squelching sound. Well, it turns out that driving over a plastic traffic cone while backing a bit too sharply out of the driveway makes that same sound, which I naturally assumed to be more snow squelches. Thanks to multiple hills going every which way, an exceedingly narrow and slightly icy road with a drop on the other side, and bumpy snow in the driveway, I turned too sharply, went over the cone resting at the side of the driveway and didn’t notice when it became caught under my car.
The two women who pulled up next to me at the next red light (after I drove out of the winding neighborhood and onto a main, 45 mph speed limit road) did notice, however, and after I rolled down my window, they said, “Do you know there’s a cone caught under your car?”
“No,” I said. Beat. Ardently: “Thank you.” I decided that instead of following my dad through the red light to the car repair place, I would take a quick right turn onto another neighborhood road. I stopped the car, got out, examined the evidence.
There is was, like a bright beacon of shame, a taunting face peering back at me from out of the dark, a lurid outline where none should have been, an orange-rimmed black square bottom of a traffic cone wedged behind the back right wheel, look at me, the friction and the embarrassment, a warning, a signal to the world, I cannot aim my vehicle and furthermore I do not notice when plastic drags under my car at relatively high velocities.
I couldn’t get it out. Also, I was parked in front of a house with excessive Christmas decorations that, in the light of a day several days past the holiday, seemed oppressive and, in my agitated state, almost menacing. I called my father and explained that no, I was not behind him on the way to the car repair place. He told me he pulled over and I should meet him.
When I merged onto the road on which my dad was stopped, the man who was on the ramp behind me merged one lane farther over. As he passed me, he made frantic gestures at me through the windows. “I know!” I tried to mouth at him through the glass while keeping an eye on the road. It is possible I gave him a thumbs up.
I saw my dad pulled over, hazard lights flashing at me like a lighthouse’s promise of safety. To make a story is middling length even shorter, he worked it out from under my car, it was not permanently damaged, and my pride recovered eventually.
Excuse the pun… I couldn’t resist. The water main in Holcomb/Gallahue burst (or something equally dramatic) today, and all students had to evacuate the building. The excitement was such that I almost wished I had decided to hang around in the Gallahue physics lounge a bit longer, but I’ve been finished with my physics problem set since Wednesday night’s study tables and I had things to do in the adjoining academic building Jordan.
So I missed the “Everybody out! ” moments. I did, however, take pictures.
This might have been the scene of the crime: It seemed to be the source of all the water. Below, you see all the people standing around and a close up of the gushing torrents of liquid making a waterfall out of the steps between Holcomb and Gallahue.
The next sequence of pictures follows the water down the hill all the way to the old entrance to the pharmacy building. Water, water everywhere indeed.
Between this and the fire alarm, Butler seems to having a lot of maintenance problems. I guess the cold is to blame for issues with heating systems (the source of last night’s smoke in the apartment down the hall) and water pipes. What a debacle. I hope it’s as easy a fix as may be expected.
[UPDATE: This was sent as an email message to all students: “This afternoon, around 2:15 p.m., a water main adjacent to Gallahue Hall and the Holcomb Building broke causing flooding in the lower levels of both buildings and power outages in Gallahue, Holcomb, Robertson and the older portion of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences building. We anticipate that all buildings, except Gallahue, will be open tomorrow.”]
Butler’s Dance Department performs The Nutcracker annually at Clowes Memorial Hall, which is right next to the fine arts college in Lilly Hall on Butler’s campus.
Last Friday was Nutcracker poster hanging day. Members of Sigma Rho Delta (the dance service fraternity) disperse all around the town to hang Nutcracker posters. I’ve actually only ever been assigned to the campus crew, which means we just hang posters in Butler’s bookstore, Irwin Library, Jordan Hall, and so on.
However, before we compete for best spots on the bulletin boards (the prime real estate), we eat pizza together. This has sort of evolved into a tradition of the older members of Sigma Rho telling stories about the department to the new students. I remember laughing and laughing as a freshman, and now I got to share memorable departmental moments with the pledges who helped out with poster hanging. It’s a fun tradition.
My friend Anna helped during poster hanging as well. And when I say “helped,” I actually mean “took pictures of everything.” With photography skills like hers, the urge seems perfectly natural. She was kind enough to let me use her pictures, so I shall let the rest of post speak for itself.