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Cowards, all of you!

| Tuesday, January 29, 2019

My immediate sensation matched that of our student body: class is cancelled this week? Wow, let the revelry ensue. Haven’t had a snow day since iPods were still a thing, and now I can bundle up with all my friends and just sleep, eat soup, drink age-appropriate beverages, like hot cocoa … yes, it all seemed rather quaint.

In that first moment, that is. Then I realized, like ill-organized and always overly-lengthy games of full-court pickup in Duncan, this idea wasn’t as good as it initially seemed. I channeled my Plato and Descartes into a profound (that is to say, deep) examination of my prior enthusiasm, checking that energy with firm waves of skeptical Reason, and, I dare say, I’ve come to the conclusion that we must loathe this result. It would be far better to have school this Wednesday and Thursday, far more in line with our University’s values.

Frankly, they’re coddling us, and it’s disgusting. They think we cannot handle a little inclement weather? Back in the glory days, the days of crossing land bridges and bloody war between different nomadic tribes, the cold was embraced and humanity was made strong in its resistance to the elements. Heck, we were eatin’ frozen chunks of mammoth just for the fun of it! It was like Minnesota in the summer time! How strong, how resilient, how masculine (toxically, of course) and undoubtedly hairy was early homo sapien, back when there was a little more neaderth in us all.

Remnants of this glorious past can still be seen today, as one out of every four men in the undergraduate class still spend these wintry days walking around in shorts. “Legs don’t get cold,” an anonymous Carroll resident told our reporters, grunting the words out in a strangely primordial drawl. Although he’d heavily layered-up his upper half, only sports shorts and tennis shoes graced his legs, this being, what he told me, a St. Louis tradition handed down from father to son since age immemorable.

Vermin aside, there are still a multitude in the undergraduate body who would prefer to have school even amidst the sub-zero temperatures. Quite frankly, for the University to deprive us of such opportunities, we here at ND are missing out on the chance to really build some character, to push our physical capacities to the very brink, as we once used to. In canceling class, we students are actually being ruined by this oppressive regime, forced inside when our flesh and bones could be flexed in a chilled shudder. What, do they think we are sheep? We are wolves! There is a reason “fighting” was included with “Irish,” and it’s the same reason we require such physical work to amp us up week by week — we aren’t quitters. Of course, such sentiments are mirrored in “Laborem Exercens” or “Rudy.”

And here is the main point — snow days are explicitly against our University’s traditions. We could trace the compromising of our University’s morals from the contraceptive issue back to Land o’ Lakes — and I’m sure some Fisher guys are even now unsettled by the policy to admit women. But nothing could be more egregious than giving the students a snow day. The last time this occurred was 2014, another gross misstep haunting our administration. Before that? Sometime in the 70s. ND has a proud history of forcing its students to march through the cold, a history culminating (correlating and therefore causating, in fact) in a nationally-renowned hockey team and more world-class Ugg models than any other school could ever boast. Coffee sales increasing, Patagonia jackets flying off the shelves: the students of Our Lady’s fine institution have always put in the extra effort to survive, monetarily and, yes, perhaps even in terms of grit.

We here at Notre Dame believe in the cold. That’s why we chose South Bend, the city of God. We miss the days when Holy Cross students would walk across a frozen lake to get to class, when snowball fights were preparing us for the next world war. We believe in tradition — just like pushups when we score, or not asking people out for your roommate (even though, you know, that’s why it’s called an SYR). We hold onto trivial forms, like unpaved roads and sopping-wet hallways, because that’s who we are.

The University will greatly regret this decision to cancel classes. I can’t even imagine how drastically this will impact the confidence and work-ethic of our student body … I hate to think it, but it’s possible that, for once, we won’t all be stressed-out workaholics, packmules who nocturnally bear their burdens til we’ve degenerated somewhere lost between the bookshelves of Hes. Good heavens! The very idea …

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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