I’d like to take a minute and mourn the passing of one of the most beloved things at Ball State University…. fun. Fun was adored by all and one of the hallmarks of the campus and the people who inhabited it. Since its birth 66 million years ago when a paleolithic dweller asked his cave neighbor to “pull his finger”, it was a staple for most everyone. That all came to a close in Muncie, IN on January 22, 2014. Clearly, with the decision to make up classes on January 6th and 7th canceled by inclement weather on future Friday nights and Saturdays, fun has met its demise in a cruel and unusual way. It is preceded in passing by the original Dill Street and survived by angst, shock, and outrage.
Friday night classes. Saturday morning classes?!? SATURDAY AFTERNOON CLASSES?!?!?! Have you no shame? In the words of Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler…
There is no better day for a college student than a snow day. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so right. I was a college student for four years, a grad student for one, and I’ve been a college staff member for going on 11 years now and just so you are aware, the glory and amazeballs of snowdays don’t go away once you get your diploma. I’ve witnessed neither a woman I love walking down the aisle nor the birth of one of my children, but I find it almost impossible to believe that the joy I get when I receive that text message that the university is closed is surpassed by those things. Equaled? Perhaps (though I doubt it). But actually beating the anticipated exuberance of chilling in track pants while watching Price is Right? That ain’t happenin’, Jack.
Snow days are what is good and pure about education. It teaches students of any age that life sometimes throws you unexpected positive curveballs in the form of an ice storm or a blizzard that allows you to do one of any critical activities:
- Uh… drink, maybe? Typical response: HE SAID DRINKING!!!! OH NOES!!!! Here’s the thing: I understand that most .edu people would prefer that students are diligently studying in Bracken Library and have no time for things like flip cup, beer pong, or giant metal cans of beer that $3 solo cups are needed for. I would also like to think that an evolved society and (allegedly) some of the brightest minds in higher ed are capable of understanding that there is a big plot of land between being a teetotaler and getting blackout drunk, getting behind the wheel, crashing into a busload of orphans, and then falling down concrete stairs killing yourself in the process. You can live in the gray between those two black and white extremes. It’s ok. And perfect for snowdays.
- Binge watch your favorite television shows or Netflix que. The nerds who advanced technology to the levels we enjoy today deserve at least a little bit of attention and gratitude by enjoying their product when classes are canceled. Lord knows you ungrateful females certainly didn’t thank them in high school or college in any way, shape, or form.
- Sleep. Sleep long. Sleep hard. Sleep all damn day if you want to. Why? Because your ability to do so once you leave is minimal at best. If you’re a family person, forget about it. From birth to when they get their license being a coach/chauffeur/general parent takes priority. If you’re a career person your soulless asshat of a boss will take great delight in sucking your lifeforce from your body. And not in the good way. They will do it via projects and tasks that you will complete, they will take credit for, and in the grand scheme of things means absolutely nothing. So there’s that.
It really doesn’t matter how you spend your snow day. What matters is that it’s yours. YOURS! It’s not for JoGo and her merry band of Higher Ed commission flunkies to reclaim like a snow day repo man. The argument Gora fronted was, “We have an obligation to our students. We don’t reduce their tuition costs, so we have an obligation to the instruction time.” When I read that, I immediately began to do the handwank motion. (Unfamiliar with that? Here you go.)
In theory, sure, I get it. Students have paid A for B and they expect B to be delivered. If I pay Papa Johns for a large pie and some cheesesticks, I don’t care if it takes Peyton Manning himself to get that mediocre pizza to my front door. I have little time for excuses. FEED ME YOUR TERRIBLE NO SAUCE PIZZA, JOHN!!! That’s in theory. There are exceptions, though, when it comes to practice Dr. Gora, where things like acts of God make what I’ve ordered and paid for either delayed or outright canceled. Things like, oh, I don’t know, a blizzard? Pretty sure that counts. And more importantly, for people to buy in to that flimsy Presidential rationale, it would mean there would need to be a student who has gone to the Provost and demanded money back from their tuition because they did not receive the amount of instruction days that they had paid for. I would hope that no one attending my university feels that way. If on the off chance someone did that, I’d rather the University just release their name so we can all teach them how to not be an ungrateful asshole instead of holding the students, faculty, and staff hostage on a Saturday.
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