February 26, 2003

The Best Sign of Spring

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We all love to hate it, but still we come back every year for four years to deal with it. It causes driving hazards, power outages and yet never seems to force the University to cancel class.

That’s right, in case your brain is too frozen to recognize it, I’m talking about the nuisance that is our “fair” Ithaca winter.

Of course, while the snow seems to bring out the worst in the way of snowball fights, I can’t help but feel that better (and warmer) times are just ahead. What’s the secret to my optimism? Why, the signs, of course.

Move over Punxatawny Phil. My first signal that spring is right around the corner comes every late February.

No, I’m not talking about spring training, the multiple all-star breaks, or even the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (although it is a nice distraction for a single college-aged male). Instead, I look for the returning animals and the games they play.

That’s right, I look for the Kappa Delta Rho alumni and their annual pledge-alum hockey extravaganza.

The weekend always starts with an amazing dinner and stories of games past. Crusty alums swap tales about how “Bob” or “Jock” lost teeth in ’97 and ’99, pledges look on with wild-eyes, and the active brothers just sit there wondering if they can finally pull out a win.

Eventually the clock hits 6:30 p.m., which signifies our mass exodus. We sit in class for the next three hours, watching our teachers paint out possible options for the evening’s games. B