October 23, 2012

Big Red Ambition #59: Ignore any and all “No Winter Maintenance” signs

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So you know how every group of friends has that one person who is just a complete spaz of a human being? They’re a bit awkward; no matter how sober they are, they manage to trip over their own feet; and if they were to be compared to a cartoon animal, they would be Scrappy Doo.

Well…that’s me. I mention this, because as I trekked to class this morning in what I can only imagine to be weather worse than a monsoon (this is just my opinion; I hate rain, so my descriptions of hellish rainstorms tend to be a wee bit dramatic), I nearly ate it (parents, that means fell down) not even five steps out of my apartment. That near-death experience made me decide to write about #59 (“Ignore any and all ‘No Winter Maintenance’ signs…slip and fall on the icy stairs”) this week.

For the uncoordinated, snow, rain, hail and any other form of precipitation I am forgetting is the kryptonite to our Superman, if you will. It is literally the end of us. I remember way back in my freshman year when the “No Winter Maintenance” signs started being put up all over campus. Not gonna lie, at first I had no idea what they meant because, let’s be real, I don’t think anyone considers shoveling “maintenance.” I’m not sure how I would categorize shoveling, but I definitely learned the hard way that, at Cornell, “No Winter Maintenance” signs should really be changed to “Enter at Your Own Risks” signs.

If I’m remembering correctly, my first experience on a “No Winter Maintenance” path was in December of my freshman year. Before I had left my dorm, my friend had come up to me to warn me about the weather in such a state of panic you would’ve thought a psycho killer was outside. To quote her (I have never forgotten her words), “Don’t go outside unless you have covered any exposed skin. You will die.” Well, I had a final so as much as I wanted to, I could not heed her words of advice.

She was right. The only time I have experienced winds more powerful than the ones that day was when I was at the top of Mount Washington (and my mom and I were putting rocks in our pockets). So not only were the elements trying to evict us from Ithaca, but genius Jaime decided that getting to a final 25 minutes early was cutting it too close, so I should take a shortcut. That shortcut nearly cost me my life (that may not be true, but I definitely have you intrigued, don’t I?).

Well, I was rushing, and it was icy. I’m barely good on my feet on flat, dry ground, so imagine me on hilly, icy ground…OY. I nearly slipped like 10 times, and as I tried to make my way down the icy steps, I actually considered sitting and sliding down. I kept imagining myself falling, and how mad my mom would be if I compromised the results of far too many years of orthodonture.

Clearly, I survived. Though, I still haven’t learned my lesson: just last winter I was late for class and tried to rush across the same path I ran through freshman year, and had similar near-traumatic experiences. Here’s hoping I survive the ice this winter; I need to partake in Holi this spring!!

Jaime Freilich is a senior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at [email protected]. Big Red Ambition appears on Wednesdays.

Original Author: Jaime Freilich