Too Much Free Time

Every sorority stereotype was fulfilled early Monday night as the news that the University of Michigan was cancelling all classes on Tuesday spread throughout my house. Absolutely dead to the world napping in my bed around 7:00 PM, I jerked awake to the cacophonous shrieks of my friends from the hallway outside my room. Throwing open the door, I bolted into the hallway, terrified. The sight that greeted me was far from scary, however – jumping, screaming girls filled the third-floor hallway, study room, and bathroom. Someone was blasting “Animals,” and through the music, I could hear sung snatches of “Hail to the Victors,” the famous chorus of “Seven Nation Army,” and the chest beating chant from The Wolf of Wall Street. Fear quickly turned to confusion as I felt myself lifted up from behind and spun around. One of my roommates had her phone lifted up in the air, taking a video. Another roommate shoved her phone in my face, showing me the Michigan Daily’s tweet heard ‘round the world. It read, “University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirms that #Umich will cancel classes tomorrow, January 28 because of the cold conditions.” (Michigan Daily Twitter). After what I remember as a solid 30 seconds of blank staring but what was probably actually no more than three, I found myself sharing my friends’ reactions. I called my mom, I texted my younger siblings, and I retweeted the Daily to subtly shove in my State friends’ faces how much better my school is than theirs. My parents and friends were ecstatic, and I was sure this excitement was uniform throughout the school, alumni included. So imagine my surprise when, scrolling through my Facebook news feed earlier today, I came across an article written by two alumni, David Watnick and William Petrich, that were bitter about the school closings, to say the least. Calling the current administration and student body “Cowards of the North,” (clever, boys, clever!) this dynamic duo proceeded to appoint themselves the undisputed kings of the largest alumni pool of any school in the entire world, very shrewdly note that the weather was “a bit cold. And windy!” and finish by deploring anyone who has ever felt joy. Put less dramatically, the two men criticized the University’s decision and cited weather statistics from years past, in which temperatures were colder and snowfall greater and during which classes went on regardless. To these two men I would like to say, “who cares?” I’m sure that most of my anger at their letter was just the overworked, overtired, and stress-ridden student who just wants a break speaking. Perhaps I’m entitled and pampered, and perhaps I truly didn’t deserve the day off. But either way, I fail to see how two (obviously) well-educated and intelligent members of the community found themselves so personally offended by a snow day. I apologize if your black, black souls were exposed to happiness for the first time since you yourselves walked our great campus. In all seriousness (and only half dramatics), why condemn the students and faculty of the University with whom you clearly feel such a sense of kinship for taking one singular day off? It’s not as though we’re seeing signs of class cancellations becoming a pattern – it was the first snow day in 36 years, after all. At the risk of sounding trite, I think perhaps they’re just jealous. Or perhaps they found themselves with too much free time today. No matter the cause or effect of their letter, however, I still thoroughly enjoyed my day off and am sending good vibes and thanks to the faculty and administration that made it possible for me to sit under my heated blanket all day and drink hot chocolate with approximately zero guilt.


Read Watnick and Petrich’s article here:

One thought to “Too Much Free Time”

  1. I like the description of your house when you first found out news that there was no school. I love the little details of the music and your own reaction when you read that simple sentence of school being canceled.

    I think the alumna’s opinions were coming from the fact that they thought Michigan would not cancel school, even due to cold weather, because of their priority on academics. Just as you subtly hinted to your State friends that Michigan is better because Michigan cancelled class, maybe they were subtly hinting that Michigan shouldn’t have cancelled because State didn’t cancel class (or the other Big Ten schools that they mentioned). I think that cancelling school is up to the administration’s discretion and it shouldn’t be compared to what other schools are doing. Besides, Michigan is known for being a leader, so they shouldn’t follow what the other schools are doing.

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