So you can keep me inside the pocket of your ripped jeans / Holdin’ me closer til our eyes meet, you won’t ever be alone…
The weather outside was frightful … and so I sought seeking refuge indoors with hot cocoa, music and the Super Bowl. (Well, I watched the Katy Perry and Missy Elliot part…not so much the rest, haha.) The last time a snowstorm of this magnitude hit Chicago, it was 2011 and I was still in high school. I remember back then I celebrated the snow day by shoveling and playing outside with my dog, a tiny Pomeranian that hopped through mounds of snow taller than him. This time around, while not as lively, was surprisingly still satisfying. I spent my snowed in Sunday indoors, warmed by hot cocoa and my gluttonous appetite for apple pie and homemade burgers.
I have mixed feelings about the fact that winter seems to have finally come to Chicago. Before winter break, I kept hearing ominous weather reports that warned of an even colder winter than Chiberia of last year. But ever since coming back to school this semester, I’ve actually found the weather to be much milder than I anticipated— and I’m someone who abhors the cold and takes refuge beneath multiple layers of blankets.
Now that the blizzard is upon us, I feel some dread because I know there will be several bitterly cold weeks ahead, along with trudging through snow several inches high just to get to class and waking up in the morning with extra reluctance to leave the warmth and safety of my sheets. But at the same time … it’s so pretty outside! The more childish part of me thinks the huge white blanket over everything is all very lovely, even though I know that I’ll be tired of the cold before too long. And I also feel like it never feels like winter has come and gone if we don’t get at least one significant heap of snowfall. (But I don’t want any more snow after this … please take note of my fancies, Elsa and Mother Nature.)
Of course, because the UIC campus has residential, health, and research operations that can never be shut down even temporarily, there was no “official” snow day for us. But to my surprise, all classes before 10 AM were canceled! Even though I heard a lot of grumbling about how there were still classes in the later day, I think canceling even the a portion of morning classes is already pretty monumental.
I didn’t expect any closings from UIC at all — I’m glad that there was a reprieve to allow for some snow plowing to take place, even if it’s not much. In the end, I think in the end it comes down to safety. If coming to class puts you in grave danger or is even impossible, I don’t think you should go to class. That morning I watched more than a couple people trying to dig their car out of several feet of snow and drive it down a street, only to be stuck in several feet more of snow … it’s such a dismal, disheartening sight to see struggling cars revving their wheels furiously, but with escape to no avail. I don’t even want to imagine having to drive in this weather … during these times of extreme weather, I am never more thankful that I live on campus near my classes — and in Chicago, where public transportation is decently reliable to eventually get me where I’m going.
So I can’t say I was surprised to be one of the two students who attended Russian class on Monday at 12 PM. Granted, we’re already a small class, but I kind of expected that it would be mostly empty since so many of the students have to commute. Class turned into the professor just firing off questions at my friend and me about the Russian reading … it was actually kind of fun! I thought of it as private tutoring for Russian. And also, our vocab quiz got pushed because there weren’t enough people to take it.
So here’s hoping we get to enjoy the beauty of winter (but with warm comforts, of course) for a just a little while longer. There’s nothing quite like walking outside and feeling brisk, wintry air filling my lungs — it’s the feeling of life. It’s the feeling of Chicago in my body.
Stay warm and stay safe, friends!
We keep this love in a photograph, we made these memories for ourselves / Where our eyes are never closing, hearts are never broken, and times are forever frozen still. ♪♫♪
(Photograph – Ed Sheeran)
Sarah Lee is a junior studying neuroscience and Russian in the GPPA Medicine program at UIC. She’s still trying to figure out exactly what she wants to do, but some of life goals include running a marathon, exploring Eastern Europe and becoming fluent in Russian. In her free time, she loves running, playing piano and guitar, and reading. A Naperville native, Sarah is a peer mentor in the Courtyard residence hall.