February 2, 2011

Sno-ppression

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Remember the Trojan War? Remember how it went for years and years with no end in sight? And how Odysseus had to deal with all the crap that had happened in the 10 years he had been gone? Yeah that’s what I expected to happen when I suited up for Wednesday’s snowball fight. I wanted to leave my agrarian life behind and become a warrior to conquer the hated Olinians. My leftovers would go bad, my plants would die, and my condoms would expire before I arrived home victorious.

What I experienced was far from that. Imagine the Trojan War if the Greeks and Trojans threw a few punches and all of a sudden Zeus was like “Whoa whoa whoa guys, this is getting out of hand. Go back to being stressed and trudging around to class. But don’t worry, me and Athena are totally organizing a study break with Connect Four and Chess.” Odysseus goes home after a few days to a wife who’s already “trying” to avoid cheating on him. They get a messy divorce and Odysseus eventually loses custody of his son, prompting him to come to Tompkins County to found a university where fun isn’t allowed.

Best guess, our snowball fight lasted for maybe thirty minutes. Thirty minutes! I didn’t even get hit in the face — a staple of every other snowball fight I’ve been in. Sure the Arts Quadians defeated the Olinians, but only by default! Ushered like wayward sheep, students were herded off the top of the library by border collie police officers. Fine, well I guess we can stay on the quad and toss a few snowballs around right? Wrong. Apparently we had become instantly transformed into domestic snowterrorists, with our merciless spheres of death. Our snowmen were now agents of our terror, spreading our propaganda of fun everywhere.

I was incredulous, astounded, amazingly amazed at how we were being treated. Last year there was a snowball fight which lasted for hours, giving everyone a chance to throw a ball or two. This year, if you can imagine it, there were students stuck in class looking longingly into the

Arts Quad, knowing full well that they would be unable to handle any balls that day. I curse the fates that such a thing could be true on this once freedom loving campus.

Perhaps we had become a force to be reckoned with. Perhaps we had amassed such power that the administration had taken notice, had marked us as a threat. Or perhaps we were just having some fun in the snow on a campus that has been desperately trying to increase the fun quotient in the student body. We were hoping that the battle would snowball into a community wide event, bringing joy to students and professors alike. It began that way. But when the heat was brought down, our fun fizzled and ended in a puddle.

Elliot Mandel ’11 is a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at elm76@cornell.edu. Guest Room appears periodically this semester.

Original Author: Elliot Mandel