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A Snow Day

Pic: Looking at Snowfall Through the Window

Pic: Looking at Snowfall Through the Window

I was on the journey of carrying on a Ph.D. abroad in 2007. I had to do research work as well as attend theory classes. My youngest sister was in the same university doing an MS. She was there years earlier than me when I enrolled in the Ph.D. program.

She showed me around and counseled me about various things. But she never mentioned snow or what a snow day would mean for the university.

Pic: Walking over Snow to the University Premises

Pic: Walking over Snow to the University Premises

One weekday, I wore my sneakers, gloves, coat, and cap. It was cold outside, and snowflakes were falling. I hadn’t particularly checked the weather or the university’s website on my laptop before leaving my apartment.

My sneakers slipped on the snow, and I stumbled down, bruising the palms of my hands and knees. It was quite painful. But I got up and moved forward on my way anyways, climbing up the steps and then down, crossing a bridge when I slipped again. My sneakers were most inappropriate for the weather, and I kept slipping, but I steadied myself as much as possible.

When I reached the main building on the campus, I found everything shut and locked up. The doors just wouldn’t slide open. I wondered what was going on.

I went back home. I could comprehend the university was closed today. Perhaps it was a holiday I missed to alert myself.

After reaching my apartment, I called my sister to reveal the mystery. She said, “Oh! Don’t you know the university is always closed on snow days?"

I told her of my experience on the snow day. And she said, "You should always check the weather and the website of the university before going out to attend classes or research work. The website always has information on whether the university is closed owing to bad weather or other unfavorable conditions.”

It was a lesson I learned. But I was feeling extra happy to get some free time although I was confined inside.

I cooked myself a good lunch, showered, read my class notes, read some parts of theory books, browsed the net, and wrote a few emails. I was extremely happy, working in solitude, whiling away my free time.

Pic: Enjoying Watching Snowfall

Pic: Enjoying Watching Snowfall

I looked out through the window. There was white snow covering all the green canopy and ground. It sure was a beautiful scene. But it would be dangerous to walk or drive in this weather. I got why the university was closed on snow days.

I chatted with my other younger sister, who lived in Dallas and told her of my experience of the day. She was touched by what I had to go through not knowing the university was closed.

Finally, in the late afternoon, it stopped snowing. There was a horizon of warm and bright sunshine, melting all the snow. My youngest sister came in to visit me in her boyfriend's car to check on me. She also brought in afternoon snacks.

We ate together and had fun chit-chatting. After they left, it was the first time I started feeling lonely, not enjoying solitude at all.

Nevertheless, I carried on doing the dishes, bowls, and spoons. I forgot I was alone because I was busy again. This time I sat down to read research papers. I felt tired, and I didn’t know when I fell asleep. When I finally woke up, it was time for dinner.

I fixed myself a quick dinner and washed away the utensils. I hummed to myself, cheering myself up. After all, a snow day gave me plenty of free time to relax and rejuvenate. It was time to be happy and embrace the next day with good cheer.

Although I didn’t complete the Ph.D. journey all those years ago, I hold a fantasy dream of fulfilling it someday in the future.

I have lots and lots of experience, and I am eager to learn and relearn. Above all, I know now I have to avoid venturing outside on snow days, and what's more, I get to enjoy extra happy free times too on those days.

© 2022 Rosina S Khan