First snow brings Iowa initiation for freshman and international students alike

Allison Wordes- Staff Writer

Icicles hanging from frosty fenders in East Campus parking lot set a serene atmosphere. Christmas carols burst forth from eager students during the early Friday morning hour. It is Nov. 18, the first snow of the year. Cold, sharp specks attack the faces of students trudging to classes, their hopes of class cancellation futile. Like a distant echo, the clock tower bell plays its chimes. Commons tables sit in lonely expectation for breakfasters who don’t show. Huge white flakes smash into classroom window panes, leaving drops of moisture on the cool glass. Eyes peek out between thick layers of fabric scarves and stocking caps of sports players waiting in the stir fry line in the Commons.

“It’s too cold out there!” exclaimed Jazmin Mendieta, a freshman from Paraguay, as she burst through the West Hall lobby doors. In preparation for this drastic Midwestern shock, Mendieta has armored herself with a black winter coat with a fur-lined hood.

“Cold is cold, wherever you go,” said freshman Maggie Burgsma, a Canadian from Covenant Hall. She finds the slow traffic irritating, but otherwise has found herself well-prepared for the onslaught of snow.

Freshman Kim Marques, from Zimbabwe, has found the snow to be a “bitter beauty.” It is her second experience with snow, she said, but this time around it seems less like a vacation. Back home, she never had indoor heating. Here, she said the heating makes the cold tolerable.

“I just thought it would be cold – I wasn’t prepared for wind,” said Marques. She said she actually prefers the snow to rain, because, unlike drenching rain, it is easy to dust off before it melts. Actually, there is nothing she does not like about snow.

“I could hardly sleep the night before [it snowed]; I was so excited,” admitted Marques. “I love the beauty of it.”

While the snow melted quickly, leaving nothing more than memory, the sudden icy onslaught served to prove that winter has come to the Midwest.

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