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The Blizzard with a Name

NASA photo taken from the Terra Satelite

NASA photo taken from the Terra Satelite

Let’s be honest, at this point in my life when I have the day off school, especially because of a blizzard, I just use it as an excuse to stay in my pajamas all day. And that's exactly what I did. Winter Storm Jonas drove into the northeast with a haul larger than three million freight trains, and the majority of that cargo seemed labeled for Baltimore.

The snow was supposed to start Friday around 5pm, just in time for the weekend rush hour, but just to be safe, MICA ended up cancelling classes beginning at 12pm. I was a little annoyed. It was the first week back after break, but since my class didn’t start until 1pm, we skipped the first week!

No. of days off school: 1

The snow started sooner than promised. At 4pm it was like a fine mist. It didn’t clump together, or soak through clothes. At first it was quite pretty, but by 5pm the wind finally picked up, and the storm took on a new aura. It felt dangerous, and by mid Saturday, when my block was buried under a foot and a half of snow, I felt very grateful to be indoors with my Irish coffee. I ventured out twice at the height of the blizzard and each time my girlfriend told me if I didn’t text her every fifteen minutes she would assume I had been swept under a snow drift, or hit by a plow, and call 911.

What a vote of confidence.

It snowed all dad Saturday and didn’t stop until dawn. Sunday was blue-skied and surprisingly warm. Most people in the area hadn’t left their small townhouses in over a day and a half. I imagine it felt like waking up from hibernation. They were energized and ready to start shoveling out their street even though the plows hadn’t been through yet.

The plows took their time, every plow from Boston to Nashville must have been overworked that day. By 3pm when we hadn’t seen a plow down our street yet, we wondered if we would have school on Monday. A few minutes later we got the email cancelling all MICA activities for Monday.

No. of days off school: 2

Except not. Thanks to the “don’t take no for an answer” determination Ellen Lupton and Jason Gottlieb, our two professors, we still had class. It was just virtual. GDMFA 2017 split up based on location, and we video chatted one another. It actually was a lot of fun, partially because it still felt like a frozen apocalypse had just occurred, and partially because we played an awesome speculative design game called The Thing from the Future. The game translated well into digital play, and the whole idea of it got me thinking about what kinds of products and services would I like to create or design for. It’s only the beginning of my second semester and I am already thinking about thesis.

Shortly after digital class ended MICA sent out another email cancelling Tuesday classes. It made sense seeing as the majority of streets surrounding the campus were still unplowed.

No. of days off school: 3

And I thought last year was bad. I think we had 3 weather related days off in total last year, and now here we are less than a week in with that many days off. Thanks to climate change the United States is going to see a lot more extreme weather. The South, especially the “northern south” (i.e. Baltimore) needs to get ready, and MICA does too.

Luckily GDMFA seems to have found a solution with video chatting. I wouldn’t mind doing that more often.