Feb 12, 2010

A Storm of Historic Proportions Hits Local Campuses

Anticipating the worst, Trinity Washington University President Patricia McGuire spent the night on campus during the second of two blizzards to hit the DC area. “I woke up in Main Hall this morning having stayed overnight because of the dire forecast,” blogged President McGuire, at 5:30 a.m

By 8:30, conditions on campus had significantly deteriorated. “Total whiteout. The blizzard is here!” The pictures accompanying President McGuire’s blog are breathtaking and provide an amazing visual record of the evolving storm.

But students weren’t totally off the hook as Trinity faculty stayed in close touch, assigning quizzes and reading materials as well as hosting online office hours and class discussions. One faculty member posted a 45 minute video on child development and asked students to participate in an online discussion.

At Catholic University, Rev. Robert Schlageter, University Chaplain, grabbed his camera and narrated two videos for parents and others wondering how the university was doing during the blizzard. “We just want to let everyone know that everything is fine here at CUA,” Father Schlageter said as he walked around campus and greeted students trudging through snow to dining facilities. Responding to questions about the level of academic activity occuring during the days off, one student said, “We’ve done so much studying that we don’t need class for the next three days. We’re ahead.”

Across town, rival camps from Georgetown and George Washington Universities staged a massive snowball fight at Rose Park. Reports from the battle zone estimate 225 GW students took on just 75 Georgetown combatants. Even GW President Stephen Knapp showed up. According to the Washington City Paper, desperate Georgetown students “turned to the U.S. News & World Report rankings for a last-minute morale boost, chanting ‘Georgetown waitlist’ and ‘safety school.’”

All things considered, local campuses appeared to take the storms in stride. As GW professor Lorenzo Norris explains about the impact of snow on the human psyche, “If you expect the worst, you are going to plan for the worst. If you expect for things to be a little inconvenient, then consequently you are going to be able to keep a better mood and a better outlook on things.” Now back to the books kids.

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