I reckon that Dallas needs to quit panicking, quite frankly.
A little over a year ago the blog chronicled the Great Icepocalypse of 2013, in which an ice storm swept through North Texas and delayed my holiday plans, leaving me with no choice but to hang at a friend’s place drinking beer and watching college football.
It was horrifying.
And so it was this week that another ice storm was on its way from the north to bring horror and destruction to the good people of DFW... or at least that’s how they were making it out in the media. By Sunday night, they had cancelled classes on campus, and after coming home from the MBA trivia contest, I could hear the patter of ice rain against the window. I slept fitfully, wondering what awaited us in the morning.
Quite frankly, a bit of a letdown. A little bit of ice rain, some slightly slippery roads, but hardly the frozen wasteland we had been told to expect. No trees buckling under the weight of the ice. No impassable roads. Even the public transport was still running. But in any case, classes were cancelled, meaning it was a saving grace for assignment due that evening. I hunkered down in my room, typing away, until…
Disaster. We were out of coffee. They had warned us not to go outside, it would be too dangerous, but this was an emergency. So I layered up, and steeled myself against the onslaught, praying that the supermarket would be open.
It was barely even icy out. Sure, the paths were slippery, and you had to watch your step, but this was hardly the life-threatening nightmare that we were told to expect. The supermarket wasn’t just open, but was doing solid trade to the hardy and brave souls that had ventured out of their homes.
Coffee supplies restored, I headed home and continued working into the night.
Wait, another snow day? Late on Monday night we got the news, morning classes were cancelled. Which meant another day of study at home. Even with the cold weather persisting, the situation had hardly worsened.
This was turning out to be the Icepocalyse as if delivered by Pope Francis. No gnashing and wailing of teeth, no violent choirs singing Dies Irae, but something far more restrained to the point of being fuzzy and kind of lovable.
I woke up on Wednesday and went to my internship. As I walked to the station, my umbrella became coated in actual snow.
Two "snow days" without snow, and now it snows.
Of course, it was not officially considered a snow day, though this was actually rational – it was barely a dusting. So in the afternoon it was off to campus for classes.
It was cold but fine. A full day of classes and meetings, and a brief sense of normality.
After all the warnings of icepocalypse, the best was saved for last, and without warning. Actual snow. Inches of it. It even stayed on the ground, the beautiful architecture of the SMU campus radiant and white.
Of course, this caused a general panic in Dallas, and traffic became a nightmare because nobody here knows how to drive in snow. People reported being stuck on roads for over two hours. Every freeway was a parking lot. Not that that really differs much from every other day in Dallas, but this time there was a barely valid reason.
Of course, despite being the snowiest day this year, it was not declared a snow day, but my lecturer decided to unilaterally cancel my night class anyway. This class was meant to be a makeup class for the one cancelled on Monday. It never ends. This is turning out to be the term that won’t die.
The zombie term.
Now there's a horrifying idea.
I awoke to snow, ice, and the persistent feeling that all study and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The occasional flurry rolled through in the morning as myself and a few classmates competed in a national competition on supply chain modeling (it's a glamorous business) from the comfort of a friend’s home. By the time we left, having finished just outside the top 20 teams (but #1 in Texas...), the snow was beginning to melt rapidly.
For all the warnings and panic, this was hardly the icepocalypse we had come to expect. Even coming from a part of the world where snow might happen once a decade for five minutes, the overreaction seemed comical to the point of frustration. But at least there was snow, which made the landscape pretty.
With the snow now gone, it’s time to get back to studying for finals.
Now there’s a true reckoning.
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
Copyright © Gerard Atkinson 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the owner is strictly prohibited.