D.C. Diary: Welcome to the Big Snow

January 25, 2000
Thurston Hall
7:30 a.m.

Like the magic of Santa Claus streaming through the night while the world sleeps, the entire East coast awoke Tuesday morning to the two sweetest words this side of Christmas break – snow day.

I knew there were no classes by 7:30 a.m., thanks to my neighbor who barged in and woke me and my roommates with the only news that would not get his ass beat. Even though this would have been a perfect time to catch up on the sleep that we all sign away with our housing contracts, I was up by 10 a.m.

After the traditional cup of hot chocolate, I hit the street to see what the snow business was for the day. At noon it was quiet outside, and I started to lose faith in the spirit of youth at GW. Luckily, a group of about 20 people surfaced to play some football on the Quad. Avoiding talking to the football players in medias res, I made my way over to some random people frolicking in the snow. Freshmen Shirin Bidel-Niyat and Janeen Gavin were just hanging around, making snow angels.We don’t get to play in the snow in Florida, Shirin said.

Things finally started to pick up around 1 p.m. En route to the Marvin Center from Thurston Hall, I had a little impromptu snowball fight with a friend of mine. After dominating the fight, I stopped a group of fun-seekers headed down H Street away from campus, each carrying a tray that bore a suspicious resemblance to the ones at J Street. The three sophomores, Nick Brock, Chuck Jacobson, and Justin Rappaport had lubed up their trays with olive oil (after discarding the idea of melting candle wax across the bottom) for a better ride down the hills near the monuments.

Back to Thurston and still unable to find sufficient snow activity on campus, I ventured toward the National Mall to check out what was up. To my wondering eyes, the Mall and the Ellipse were the places to be during snowstorms. The grassy fields of D.C. were alive with the true spirit of a snow day, in the form of massive football games, attempts at Frisbee throwing, spontaneous snow-laden monument tours, and plain ol’ shoving people in the snow. Groups of people were at the Mall making snow-people, and giving customary lectures to people from California on why they shouldn’t eat the yellow snow.

Tragedy was narrowly averted by a few freshmen near the Lincoln Memorial.

There was so much snow that my roommate fell in the reflecting pool, Gina Tibbott said. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and a valuable lesson was learned.

After witnessing a few rounds of random snowball fights and feeling more fulfilled with my quest to find activity on this day without classes, I headed back to campus, stopping only briefly to toss the Frisbee around some more.

Back at Thurston, an informal snow day coffeehouse was underway.Coffee and snacks were provided to the huddling masses, which surprisingly enough, included GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. The rest of the day settled in with a low-key finish. Laundry rooms were filled with empty take-out containers. (Who would venture to J Street in the snow before it’s 7 p.m. closing anyway?)

The school had the air of the Cuban Missile Crisis in anticipation of another day of closing. With this article finished, I closed my first college snow day by throwing my PJs on backwards, hoping for another day of freedom and hitting the sack.

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