Thursday, February 3, 2011


Northern Vermont had been spared truly heavy snow cover until this week. Several storms have passed mostly south and east of us, hugging the New England coast and sparing the Champlain Valley. Not so for our most recent storm that covered the eastern half of the country. Much of Vermont received between 15 and 20 inches of new white stuff. Of course, were you only listening to the media, and not looking out of your window, it sounded like the end of the world as we know it: Snowpocalypse! You would think the entire North American continent must be tilting toward the east under the weight of all that snow. It the western states were slightly elevated as a result, would California break off and float away? Would the Great Lakes drain like a tipped fish tank? Would Cape Cod be submerged?

In reality, we’ve seen worse. Many local schools and some businesses did close, but Saint Michael's College held classes, as usual. All but a few of our undergraduates reside on campus anyway and so have only a short walk to class. Faculty commute and some come from a long way off. In such circumstances, we are left to our own best judgment, but most of us made it in. The College’s buildings and grounds staff do a terrific job of clearing snow and keeping us in good order. I arrive before seven each morning and find the parking lots fully cleared. Kudos must also be given to the road crews in towns across the state. Sometimes working through the night, they keep us moving safely with some caution on our part. Lower speed, prudence and four-wheel drive get us to our destinations.

A good snowfall can wreak havoc down south, but in Vermont we are prepared and know how to deal with snow.

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