Saturday, December 31, 2011

Succombing to Mother Nature

Ten minutes of wind and five minutes of rain: that’s all it took to bring down Charlottesville.
Just when I decided to be productive at around 5 pm yesterday, I heard a violently ominous wind blow through the vicinity, whipping a tree outside the living room window, and scraping its branches against the panes in distress. And then the lights went out.
I looked outside and saw a bald young man around my age run into the Beta frat house, holding a magazine over his head lest he get struck by lightning. I hope he rubbed sunblock on that head.
A little power outage? I can deal with that. Midterm tomorrow? Panic mode. So, I packed up all my books and went to Alderman Library. I marched cautiously over fallen branches and the twiggy sidewalk, only to arrive just as the librarians were abandoning the building (the power went out there and in every other library and building on Grounds). Undeterred, I hopped from building to building hoping to find a single classroom with light so I could study. No luck. Finally, I wandered into the Classics building — one I’d never been into and will likely never venture into again — but all the classrooms were locked. Eventually, I settled in a quiet nook on the second floor and started reading.
And then I got a little hungry. Fortunately, I’d packed a (1) Chewy granola bar, but decided I ought to ration and save it for later since I planned to be there for a while. Soon afterwards, a police officer wandered through the same corridor, inspecting the building for sketchy wanderers (like me?), apparently. Needless to say, I startled him, but he said he’d let me stay until seven o’clock. I left.
From there, I went back home and continued doing my homework on the porch outside my room, trying to be as productive as possible while there was still light out. By then it was already 7 o’clock and dusk was approaching. I then hauled all my study materials over to a friend’s house on JPA on foot (and a strained tendon). Naturally, I thanked her for helping the temporarily homeless.
Of course, I did as much as I could, but not without the occasional burst of panic that evening. However, when I went to class that morning, the professor announced that in light of the weather and its consequent inconveniences, the test would necessarily be postponed until Monday.
Thank goodness.

(Originally posted June 25, 2010)

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