Professors Consider Class More Important Than Safety During Flash Flood Warnings

AJ Lawrence, Contributing Writer

When I arrived at my math class last Wednesday morning, my teacher asked what happened to make me soaking wet when I walked through the door. I suggested, probably to the dismay of my participation grade, that he take two seconds to look outside and see for himself. He only responded by saying that it couldn’t have been “all that bad” if I still made it to class on time. He clearly must not have been outside that morning, but all I could respond with was that I decided to take a dip in the Susquehanna before I came to class.
That was a comment I got from many professors that day; that the weather wasn’t bad, and it could have been much worse. While it certainly could have been, that doesn’t detract from the fact that it colossally sucked having to walk between classes in the nonstop rain all day.
One would think the teachers would be a little more sympathetic towards students, seeing as the teachers had to traverse the downpour themselves at times, but they weren’t. Not one class, practice, or activity was canceled that day, despite the dangers the rain posed at times. The nonstop rain left stairs, walkways, and roads slick and covered in large puddles, posing hazards to drivers and pedestrians alike. When speaking with a professor later in the day, she gave me the whole speech your parents gave you about having to go both ways uphill to get to school and back and that it used to be even more dangerous than we could imagine. As someone who lives in Smith Hall, at the bottom of the hill, I think we get the idea. The half a dozen kids I saw wipe out on the quad stairs probably do too.
The only benefit from the rain, in my opinion, was being able to see the ingenuity of students here at the University and all the ways they found to keep their bags and themselves dry. Naturally, there was a wide variety of colored umbrellas and raincoats utilized by the more practical students. Plenty had those single-use plastic ponchos or threw garbage bags over their backpacks. Some students didn’t seem to care at all and just got drenched as the day continued. Then there were the others with some more interesting ideas, like the group of guys I saw carrying an entire canoe over their heads at one point. I saw another few students carrying empty plastic storage containers on their backs like turtle shells and even heard a rumor that some upperclassmen rented a golf cart to drive between their classes.
With how wet the grass was, it was surprising that so few people were sledding down the hill to get to dorms or the ELC as there had been. It appeared that some students chose to make the best of the rain that day. Students were washing cars, bikes, plastic containers, and trash bins. Others were just standing in the downpour; whether to beat the heat of earlier in the week or to avoid taking a shower, I’m unsure. When walking to the Barnes & Noble to pick up a book, I noticed the students in one of the off-campus houses had set up an inflatable pool to sit in as the rain-filled it up.
If the winters here at the University are as difficult as that rain was to deal with, we are certainly in for a wild ride.

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