Countdown to snowfall, possibly broken bones ORANGE RHYMES WITH Full view

Countdown to snowfall, possibly broken bones

ORANGE RHYMES WITHMidterms are hell. You know it. I know it. There’s really no reason to reiterate a topic that 90 percent of these columns reference in one way or another.

That being said, the cumulative stress of midterms couple with the last dying gasps of fall have convinced me that I need to find a few new winter hobbies.

In the past my winters have tended to consist of snowboarding, spontaneous parking lot skating and vehement denial of the growing cold. You’ll notice only one of these activities can be considered positive, and that’s ignoring how prohibitively expensive it is.

Basically I’m trying to avoid downgrading my season from a winter wonderland to a winter slightly-unsatisfying-land. Or something like that. (Cut me some slack here. You’re lucky I’m not accidentally writing study tips for macroeconomics.)

So I’m on a quest to find a new winter hobby to justify my lack of enthusiasm for all academic endeavors. My first step was to recertify at the Alaska Rock Gym because nothing cures winter boredom like tying oneself to a wall and climbing it repeatedly.

Between you and me, I can’t really claim ownership of the climbing idea. Honestly, I had just watched the most recent Spiderman because I heard it had Emma Stone in it. Then decided climbing walls couldn’t possibly be that hard. Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that difficult, and jumping off the top and letting the harness readjust my spine is actually more cost-effective than going to the chiropractor.

The next (brief) stop on my quest for winter distractions led to consider snow-caving for all of about five minutes. Admittedly, it sounds pretty awesome, all the fun of camping crossed with the frigid numbness associated with hypothermia. However, while I’m sure nothing could possibly go wrong while sleeping in a poorly constructed cave made entirely of cold water, I’m still not convinced it’s the best option for me.

Spinning my wheel of non-academic fortune for the third time gave way to a new interest in that thing where you strap a snowboard to your feet and hold on to a kite. Apparently it’s called “snow kiting” because all of the creative extreme sport-namers called in sick that day. Given that I already have a snowboard, as well as two slightly athletic legs with which to ride it, I assumed that this would be an easy transition.

Quite frankly, snow-kiting actually seems like a pretty good way to go, assuming one can afford the $600 kite and doesn’t mind being pulled along uneven ground by winds that could gust and rip his or her arms off at any moment. So all things considered, it seems to be a low-cost sport that anyone could pick up with little to no training.

Then, just when I seemed to have exhausted all possible excuses to neglect my winter classes, I rediscovered REI. Suddenly there was no debate about whether I would rock climb or learn to flail helplessly as a kite dragged what remained of my body across a frozen lake. The new question I faced was how long my body can survive without eating so I can use my grocery money to buy everything at REI.

The answer is about two and a half days. At least that was the point where my irritability became so intolerable that my friends forced me to eat some oatmeal before I drove them all insane. Luckily I remembered a certain place where I could buy used outdoor gear of a dubious nature for well below market value.

So now I’ve reunited with my old friend the Internet, and I’ve already begun to order enough bargain outdoor gear to last me a lifetime. Now assuming the economy doesn’t completely collapse in the next month (everyone cross your fingers with me on this one) and I’m not horribly injured before getting to try all my new toys, I should be able to avoid doing schoolwork until at least the beginning of May.

As for midterms, I honestly think I may have scraped by yet again. Now all I have to do is stare gleefully out the window and wait for snow.

And possibly purchase a solid life insurance policy.

Written by Evan Dodd


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