A Most Unusual Winter Slumber

Griffin Hall surrounded by snow.

Maggie Pund

Griffin Hall surrounded by snow.

There are times when my pig-headed stubbornness somehow morphs into admirable conviction. What typically starts out as me just going about things in my usual ways, somehow turns into me feeling as though I achieved something great. But in reality, it was really just a minor victory that could have been handled with much greater ease had I just pursued the task in a different way.

This was exactly what I learned the hard way last week during the newspaper’s production night. It seems that the forces of nature don’t take much of an interest in my personality deficiencies; snow falls and ice forms whether or not my schedule will allow for it.

It all started with the infamous dreaded text from my dad. You see my father is one of those people from an older generation who thinks that all text messages should follow the conventions of Morse code.

No matter how many times I’ve explained to him that he can indeed use words like a, an and the in his texts, he still insists on sending me messages like “food at home” or “package has arrived.”

Apparently, simplicity and clarity is the end result of my father’s texting pursuits. I don’t know if this is some kind of implicit slam against my intelligence or what, but when I got the “bad weather coming” text from Dad, I knew it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Most of my friends had left shortly after it was announced that NKU would be closing after 4 p.m. on Tuesday. But I knew that this just could not be! Tuesday night is my night to pretend I’m doing worthwhile work in the newsroom. Tuesday night is my night to hang out with friends who are actually doing work – there’s no time to escape a snowstorm!

One by one, the hours went by and each of my distinguished journalistic colleagues said goodbye and headed out into the winter wonderland that engulfed campus.

After stuffing myself with enough complimentary food to survive through hibernation, everyone gave their own unique warning to stay safe as the fuel within my oil-lamp of hope slowly burned away.

And then there were two. The Northerner’s editor-in-chief, Kevin Schultz, and I were all whom remained. Kevin decided that he was going to take the risk of making the trail to his home in Alexandria.

And although he didn’t know it, he slashed my dreams of the ultimate collegiate sleep-in quicker than Freddy Krueger himself in “Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 2.”

After trying and ultimately failing at convincing him to crash for the night along with myself in the newsroom, I knew that it was time to call the general and report, “Operation epic slumber party: mission aborted.”

And then it was just me – the lone survivor of this sub-zero assault on NKU. After wading through the icy trenches of snow in my 2001 Toyota Camry like a lame duck trying to get through murky water, I knew that Griffin Hall would have to serve as my temporary home.

I grabbed a sleeping bag out of my trunk and even found a “Hello Kitty” (no shame in my game) blanket left behind by my ex-girlfriend. If this was intentionally left by her months prior to this catastrophe, I severely regret breaking up with my pseudo-psychic former companion, but that’s another matter for another time.

When I made it back to the front doors of Griffin Hall, I was panic-stricken. It was after 11 p.m. and the doors were locked! I couldn’t believe I overlooked this crucial blunder, but one door finally budged. Now it was time to set up camp.

I made my way back to the newsroom and put two couches together. For fear of being woken up by a janitor in the morning, or a serial killer in the middle of the night, I decided to sleep with my jeans and sweater on – you just don’t know how good those flannel pajamas feel after a night of form-fitting denim caresses every inch of your lower half.

The door was locked. I was paranoid. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from bad horror movies, it’s to never stay in a large, unoccupied building completely by yourself.

While the hi-tech building components of GH may be appealing when you’re working on a multi-media project, my paranoia made me feel like I was surviving against a dystopian, Bladerunner-esque nightmare.

Have you ever heard what that damn printer sounds like when you’re by yourself? I thought the Terminator was digging through the floor and trying to take me back to a distant past. I knew one thing for sure: I wasn’t going to be falling asleep any time soon.

But fall asleep I did, at varying intervals throughout the night. And even though Kevin slashed my hopes in real life, I commend him for not invading my nightmares through the wee hours of the night.

And sure enough, I awoke to the fumbling of a confused janitor after a long night of wondering how the hours were going to be passed. He opened the door, took one look at me and turned right back out the door. After this brief and awkward exchange, the confusion was all mine.

I quickly gathered my things and walked out the door only to see yet another janitor. I explained the situation to him quickly and then headed out for the day. Luckily, NKU decided to close for the day instead of their initial morning closing, so I didn’t end up having to do any of the homework I neglected the night before.

After successfully eating the pavement twice in a row after slipping on the icy pavement like a circus clown on a banana peel, I found my way to my beloved winter chariot awaiting me.

Thanks to the wonderful work of our local snowplow drivers, there was actually another foot of snow in front of my car. Undeterred, I grabbed my ice scraper from my side-door and went to town.

After carving out my path like a lone caveman stuck in the icy cavern, I turned the key and rode forward. It was a bumpy ride, but I was out. Free at last, free at last – with a couch-bed behind me, I was free at last!