Monday, January 15, 2007

Snow Day at Waterloo!!

Today was a nice bonus... a snow day!!!! I haven't had one of these in ages!!

For those of my friends to the South, a "Snow Day" is every Canadian child's dream... a day when you are expecting to go to school, but as you look outside into the freezing cold, gusty wind, the TV and the Radio announce that the roads are so treacherous and the weather is sooo bad that school is cancelled!!!!!

The last time I clearly remember a snow day was in Grade 5 I think, the snowfall the night before was so insanely intense and the snow was more than 1 metre deep. Insane!! It was impossible for snow cleaning crews to get out there nearly fast enough, and there was so much ice under the snow that no one could drive anywhere at all (if they could even get out of their driveways!)

So today was the return of the snow day. Awesome! I woke up this morning to hear my roommates chatting about how "UW is closed today... something something... it's a Snow Day!!" Sweet. So I had a great day of staying inside in the nice warm apartment, doing lots of homework and watching the Golden Globes.

Here's an excerpt from an article from the UW Website from today.

UW closed by snow and ice

The university is closed for the day because of a winter storm that paralyzed the American midwest with ice over the weekend and came howling into southwestern Ontario overnight.

Following procedure, UW automatically closes when the Waterloo Region District School Board shuts all its schools (not just buses). News of that decision by the school board came a little before 6:00 this morning, and a UW announcement was sent to local radio stations and posted on the main web site.

The closing means that there will be no classes today, staff get a paid day off, libraries are closed, and everybody gets a 24-hour extension on assignments. A few essential services, including policing, the Student Life Centre, and residence cafeterias, continue regardless of an emergency closing.

Wilfrid Laurier University and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board are also closed for the day, along with a multitude of smaller organizations. The University of Guelph is open, as is Conestoga College. Early this morning, as ice pellets peppered the city and slicked the pavements, radio traffic reporters had word of one crash on the roads, then another and another. Freezing rain and snow are both expected to fall before the day is over.

Less than two weeks into the winter term, today wasn't scheduled to be a busy day at UW — no midterm exams, no co-op interviews. It was to be the first day of a five-day blood donor clinic, and the university senate loses its monthly meeting.

Closing the campus (as well as UW's outlying units, architecture in Cambridge and distance education in Kitchener) means staff, faculty and students who have kids will be able to stay home with them. It also keeps thousands of people off the dangerous streets.

And it gives the plant operations grounds crew — who don't get the day off — more room for the plows, salters and sanders to work on campus roads and parking lots. The UW police told me at about 8:20 that roads on the main campus are in "terrible" shape, although the grounds crew is hard at work.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I will have you know that snow days are not all fun and games - mostly because not all of us watch the tv / listen to the radio.
My housemate, being the super trouper she is (mostly because she, like me, is from Ottawa) walked to school on the morning of the snow day, went to her class, and got immensely freaked out when the classroom was dark and she was the only one there. She called my cell (and woke me up) and confirmed that yes, it was 10:35am and no, her course newsgroup didn't say anything about the class being changed, and yes, it was in fact monday. So, confused, she decided to make the most of her hour and go get a coffee and timmy's. Ten minutes later, she calls me even more frantically - Brubachers is closed, the C&D is closed, and she was sure she was in the twilight zone. Yes, it is 10:45am, yes, it is Monday, no, it is not a stat holiday, no, it is not Sunday. At this point I ask her how the walk to school was, thinking it might be a snow day. She, however, assures me that it was fine. The poor girl was freaking out. Someone on msn finally told me about the snow day and I was able to calm down my frantic housemate, but she is still bitter about the whole experience.
I tell you - I have been to school in MUCH worse in Ottawa...I remember walking to the bus stop one day through snow past my knees, and walking past a bunch of cars that were stuck in the middle of the road or on driveways or prettymuch everywhere. Actually, that turned out to be a snow day - I just hadn't been informed of it! And when I got to school (after over 2 hours of taking public transit since my express bus never showed up) and was told to go home, I couldn't because my dad had gotten the car was stuck in our driveway :)
The moral of the story: listen to the radio in the morning!