Photo by James Kelly

Spring unsprung at PSU as Panthers celebrate April snow day

Jacob Downey




On April 4, a nor’easter canceled classes. A winter storm warning stayed in effect through 6 am Friday, April 5. Though the campus was shut down, the community still found ways to make the most of the rare day off.

Professor Linda Upham-Borenstein spent her day creating snow day assignments and adjusting schedules for the remainder of the semester, with lots of jazz and hot beverages. She recommends Miles Davis, Stan Getz, the Bird, Herbie Hancock, and Cannonball Adderley.

Professor Paul Rougalas held an optional Zoom session for his literature class and wrote most of a new short story about the first caveman to notice something odd blocking the sun, “Og and the Solar Eclipse.” He hopes that his colleagues had a more interesting day than him. Fellow Poets & Writers advisor Liz Ahl talked one of her advisees through withdrawing from a course before making time to whine about the state of her driveway on Facebook. In celebration of April as National Poetry Month Ahl has sent out a poem a day. Thursday’s was fittingly “Snow Day” by Billy Collins.

Political Scientist and Clock advisor Jason Charrette was unable to conduct his simulations in his Comparative Government and War and Conflict courses so filled the void with “Warhammer III,” a game he insists “if anyone ever tells you they’ve finished a [campaign], they’re probably lying.” Charrette’s students are off the hook for After Action Reports this weekend but can expect to spend all of next week in simulation.

Mason Foreman ‘26, was glad to escape Charrette’s classes. He spent his day playing “Minecraft.” He built a Japanese-inspired villa on a snowy mountain complete with cherry blossom trees. The build includes a pit imprisoning a villager named after Charrette.

Professor John Lappie too spent his day of gaming after cursing his January self for scheduling three papers in the same week. During what would have been his 4-5:40 class, he cozied up with his cats to play “Baldur’s Gate 3.” He is playing as a half-elf ranger and his favorite companion is Shadowheart, though he also enjoys Astarion and Karlach. He does not like Wyll.

A big day for the gamers, one Langdon Woods first-floor resident spent some time playing various songs from “Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” on what sounded like a recorder. Their rendition of “Zelda’s Lullaby” was nostalgic, if audible from a floor up.

Photo by Meg Gelsi

In the real world, a group of students came together to build a well-endowed snowperson on the Mary Lyon lawn. Nicknamed Fros-D the Snowman, the nearly eight-foot construction boasts an impressive bust and a friendly face to greet the unfortunate Mary Lyon residents stuck with Friday classes.

Barstool Plymouth and the newly reestablished PlymVegas were present for an impromptu snarty, or snow party, proving that not even an act of God can stop the PSU party scene.

Senior Noah Al-Khalidy ‘24 decided to skip the trip to 10 Pleasant, claiming to be “too old for that shit.” He and friends elected to keep to their yard for a game of Beer Die. His girlfriend, Meg Gelsi ‘24 took her dog Chip out to play in the snow before catching up on “Grey’s Anatomy,” taking a nap, and preparing some pesto. 

Laylah Tsay spent the day tidying up her room before embarking on a romantic stroll alone in a tortured soul kind of way. She invites skiers and snowboarders of any skill level or none at all to make the most of the fresh powder by joining SOAR for Ski Buddies on April 6. “It’s legit free lessons from [SOAR],” she said. 

Though most clubs had to cancel their programming, Poets & Writers spent the snow day preparing the entirety of the 2024 edition of Centripetal. “The whole thing, it’s all done now,” said Co-President Kay Bailey. Though the unorthodox formatting of some submissions drove Bailey a little crazy, banging it out over a warm cup of tea and her Billy Joel records have opened up her weekend to make the most of the end of her junior year; bravely working back-to-back shifts at Starbucks. 

University President Donald Birx enjoyed a day without meetings, events, or fires to put out by combing through a mountain of magazines, a faculty book, and various other minutia. “It is like being a student and putting off studying for a test or writing that paper. Those things don’t change.”