The Deal with Delays and Snow Days

Inclement Weather Delays and Cancellations to Continue In Spite of Zoom

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  • Another snow day superstition is to wear your pajamas inside out. Whether this is effective or not, the Bridgewater College community has seen two snow days and three delays due to the winter weather.

  • Among many snow day superstitions, is the flushing of ice cubes down the toilet. Some say the more ice cubes you flush, the more snow days you will get. Do not forget to stick a spoon under your pillow for extra good luck.

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Jackie Letaiugyang, Web Editor

Bridgewater, Va. – Even in a semester where technology is in place and many students’ classes are all virtual, the question of whether or not snow days would continue was on the minds of Bridgewater College students.  

Bridgewater College has decided to keep the practice of canceling or delaying school for inclement weather due to the fact that some students and employees have difficulty accessing the internet or driving to campus, explained Chief of Police Milton Franklin in an email. 

The first change of schedule due to inclement weather occurred on Tuesday, Jan. 26. Students received an email at 11:13 p.m. on Monday night from Franklin stating that both in-person as well as virtual classes would be delayed two hours, meaning 8 a.m. classes started at 10 a.m. 

“I had expected that we would at least have a delay,” said senior Rachael King. “I was ready and waiting for it. I knew there was no way we could have classes because it was below freezing and with melting, it was possible there would be freezing ice this morning.”

Five days later, on Jan. 31, students received another email from Franklin stating that classes would be cancelled  Feb. 1 again because of snow. 

As many students left the comfort of their warm residence hall that Monday for some time in the snow, first-year student Julia Mohler had to logon to Zoom to take a pre-scheduled quiz. 

A week later, a third email reached the student body, as well as faculty and staff, stating that classes for Monday, Feb. 8, would be delayed for two hours, which meant 30-minute classes up until 2 p.m.

“It was difficult to try to teach a longer class in 30 minutes,” said Assistant Professor of English Chad Trevitte. “You end up having to just ask focus questions and not allow any room for students to comment on what they think about the reading.”  

“So far, weather does seem to be a problem with classes,” Department Chair and Associate Professor of Biology Robyn Puffenbarger wrote in a direct message over Facebook messenger. “I have been able to record some voice-over powerpoints, meet with students on Zoom and use email to stay in touch.” 

Unlike the first delay, the second delay took some students by surprise. 

“It didn’t even look like there was freezing ice when I went outside so I was wondering why they’d made the decision for a two-hour-delay,” said sophomore Dolan Nethercutt.

Franklin also stated that the college “wants to give the facilities staff the necessary time to address ice and snow removal on campus” for safety. 

Junior Kat Zablocki, who lives in upstate New York and has opted to be a remote student for the semester, said her first reaction to the inclement weather emails is joy. 

“More time to sleep and have a calmer morning,” said Zablocki. 

A downside for people who live in a different region, such as Zablocki, is that the weather is not always the same as it is at BC. 

“It is kind of funny because when BC gets snow, I don’t get it until a day later,” said Zablocki. “So by the time it is clear for BC to have classes, my internet might not be up because of snow.” 

Classes were again delayed on Friday, Feb. 12, and canceled on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19.

Given the delays and cancellations, as well as the postponed start to the semester to Jan. 12 and the celebration of Martin Luther King Day, there has yet to be a full, regular week of classes in spring semester.

Winter does not officially end until March 20. For those who hope for more snow days and delays, you might consider the #SnowDayRituals. Some believe that if you wear your pajamas inside out, flush a bunch of ice cubes down the toilet and stick a spoon under your pillow, among other tricks, you might wake up to a snow day.