Perhaps as we become globally warmed, we’ll forget what winters once
were like: those winters when toes were cold and wet from January until March
from romps in the slush; when the differentials between the bone-aching damp
of cross-campus slogs and superheated classrooms tested the immune system;
when — just about the time you couldn’t stand to look at the gray
dreary campus one more day — new snow would fall and turn it all into
something you’d never quite seen before.
the cafeteria trays would vanish from Woodlawn to reappear on the slopes of
Myers Hill. Snowboards would be far in the future, and ski hills from Wittenberg
were too far in the distance, if they existed at all.
So the trays, and maybe a sled or two borrowed from the neighborhood kids,
did fine. You’d get cold and quit after about four runs anyway because
you never stayed on the thing, and you scooped snow down your neck and up
your sleeves as you capsized; because if you did stay on the thing, you always
ended up going backward and scooped snow under your collar that way.
And besides it would soon be time to sneak the trays back in for dinner
for which and for once, since we were cold, we said special thanks.These were
the days of special appearances. Snowmen would appear magically to welcome
the eight o’clock trekkers to Reci. And there’d be Breughel-like
skating scenes in Snyder Park.
And just about the time you never wanted to see another minute of winter,
the early spring rains would come and wash it all away.
BREATH OF LIFE
At nearly the very moment the last oxygen had been steamed out of classroom
air, and we learned we could fall asleep even while walking, a door was opened
to spring. That bright season entered our world, and we passed it, coming
in, as we hurried on our way out.
air is warming. Tyler Phillips, campaigning for Student Senate, practicing
for life, promises a new world order — or maybe just cheaper basketball
seats or one more day of vacation.
We must notice his attire: full suit, white shirt, tie. How could he not
have our respect? Not far from his feet, we know, is the plaque, Wittenberg’s
credo: “Having Light, We Pass It On To Others.” Ty had the light,
I’m sure, and I know he shared it. Some others, I’m sad to say,
with a glance at the mirror, didn’t — and didn’t.
And there’s President Stoughton. We called him Prexy then, I believe,
although not necessarily to his face. Not that he would have minded; he was
the living definition of “affable.” (He left most of the business
of being stern-faced to his dean, John Stauffer, as I remember.
Or did Dean Stauffer glower only at me? It’s possible.) And on another
spring evening, made possible by the welcome lengthening of days, the softball
bats came out for intramur-als and for the neighborhood kids who wanted to