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Winter Survival Kit

Dan Tapetillo | Thursday, February 3, 2005

When leaving for college, most moms give their children “words of advice.”

Eat the five food groups.

Keep up with your homework.

Get plenty of sleep.

Have fun.

But only a mom from Arizona would tell her kid, “Daniel, when it snows … I know you’re going to get really excited and want to play in it. But whatever you do, don’t jump in it. Your feet will get wet and you’ll get sick.”

For those of you who haven’t grown up with snow during the winters, this column is my advice for you – almost like a mini survival kit for getting through the harsh South Bend winters.

First rule: watch out for ice.

Last winter, I was running out the door to catch up with a friend. The next thing I knew, I completely lost my balance and hit the sidewalk full force. Ice is everywhere and you never know when it’ll get you.

Not only did I end up with several cuts and scrapes, but there was also a witness. Knowing somebody was there to see me fall was probably the worst part. And trust me, there will always be somebody there to see you wipe out.

Second rule: stay warm at any cost.

In order to endure the long walks from your dorm to class at DeBartolo, you must come up with a plan of action.

If you’re from North Quad, this is the way to go:

First, use every dorm keeping you from your hall to your destination. Being from Zahm, Cavanaugh is only steps away. Not only is it warm, but sometimes I also pick up a friend on the way.

The next building to head to is LaFortune.

LaFortune is key; use it to your advantage. Not only can you get some breakfast, but you can also cut the distance in half.

From there, Hayes-Healey is the next closest building. Nothing special here, but who said anything about every stop having to be scenic?

After this, it is a straight shot to DeBartolo and you’re on your own. South, West, God and Mod quaders – get your own plan.

Third rule: even though it is cold, enjoy it while it is lasts.

My mom always says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

So go out and discover all the fun things there are to do with snow.

There are the traditional things like making snowmen, throwing snowballs or sledding. But you also have a chance to get creative.

One of my favorite things to do is to launch snowballs out of a “three-man water balloon launcher.” You’d be surprised how much air you get. You can basically launch anything out of it – snow, apples or peeps.

The snowy quad is yours for the taking.