Arts and Culture News

The Death of a Snow Day?

A short snapshot of Wheaton students on the first snow day of the year

Feb. 13’s Nor’Easter saw snow blanket Wheaton’s campus, snowmen pop up around the Dimple and the basketball courts, dining halls close, and college operations go remote. 

Wheaton sent out an email Feb. 12 to students and faculty advising remote work and classes. Feb. 13 was the first snow day since the pandemic, when Zoom and asynchronous classes became the norm. What would have once been a day off for students now means a day spent sitting in front of a laptop. Many professors opted to cancel classes or assign supplementary work rather than hold classes remotely, but most students The Wire talked to had at least one class on Zoom. 

When asked about what he did on his snow day, senior John Morris (who also serves as the arts and culture editor for The Wheaton Wire) said that he had two classes moved to Zoom, and he attended neither. Morris had strong opinions about his classes being held on Zoom, rather than canceled. 

“I did not go to my Zoom classes because I think it’s morally wrong and socially reprehensible to schedule a Zoom class on a snow day.” 

Instead, Morris said that he had a slow morning and spent the day with his friends. “I got up late, made breakfast, and hung out with my friends. We had a three-hour snowball fight and made a snow creature.” 

“I feel more fulfilled by this day than I could possibly feel sitting in my room in a Zoom class.” 

Snow Activity in the Dimple

Thomas Bleakney is a sophomore, who spent his snow day with his inner tube, making a ramp out of snow in the Dimple and riding down it. Bleakney said he enjoyed seeing everyone outside.

“The softball team had a huge football game going and there was a big snowball fight happening in front of the library,” Bleakney said. “It’s great to see people interacting with people they never would have.” 

He pointed at a group of friends standing by Emerson Dining Hall, “They checked out the snow tube…I don’t know who any of them are. Some of the people in the snowball fight took rides down. It was super cool.”

Bleakney had one class canceled, and one class on Zoom. He attended the Zoom class, but said he didn’t feel like he got much out of it. “We all went through COVID online school. It sucked! We didn’t learn anything.” 

“The same thing happened today. I got through 40 minutes of my 80-minute class and then turned off the camera and stopped paying attention. Snow days should be snow days—it’s as simple as that.” 

Snow and International Students

Across the Dimple, by Mary Lyon Hall, juniors Trisha, Sean, Jema, and Emily were in the midst of rolling a large ball of snow to make a large snowman. Trisha is an international student from India, so a snow day holds a more special meaning for her. 

“The part of India I live in is a pleasant 70-90 degrees throughout the year. Coming here, I get so excited at the sight of snow… It’s part of being here, getting to enjoy that,” Trisha said. 

Trisha also liked that the snow helps with seasonal depression, something that she says many international students suffer from.  “The sun goes down so early! We’re not used to that because we don’t have daylight savings! It’s a nice thing to have in the middle of the winter, something that kind of mentally gives us some joy.”