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Say it isn’t snow January 10, 2010

Posted by paulstella in Uncategorized.
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Imagine my surprise to learn that, after a full week back in Kentucky, Austin had only spent several days in school. “What are you talking about?” I asked with noticeable alarm during our most recent phone conversation.

Turns out winter weather provided kids across Kentucky an opportunity to stretch the holidays—a couple of good old-fashioned ‘snow days.’ Snowfall across the state ranged from 1 to 4 inches. Knowing that such a paltry sum can create havoc is always a source of giggles, if not outright belly laughs, for those of us living in the snowmaking shadow of the Great Lakes.

I took this photo as a measuring stick for Austin to see how much snow had fallen.

Austin was audibly shocked to hear that about 2 feet had fallen at our house in Irondequoit. He really didn’t get to see the snow machine operate at peak efficiency during his two-week visit, so I think he’s still struggling to get his head around what that’s like. And by the way, Austin, that wasn’t enough to earn students here even a single snow day.

Regardless, the weather was a major source of conversation in my office this week, as I’m sure it was in homes and offices across the area. I think many of us get this sense of foreboding after crossing into January. The holidays are over, and now we enter this long stretch of potential misery. Short days combined with climbing snow totals and biting chill can do a number on the ol’ psyche. I know it’s true of me.

Having made the decision to live in this region, I try harder now to embrace various aspects of winter. I recently returned to downhill skiing. I may only get out several times a year, but every opportunity tends to carry me a long way. Really any outlet for staying active helps me. I won’t often run outside this time of year, but RIT’s Gordon Field House provides amply resources for physical activity. Getting those endorphins pumping definitely combats the winter doldrums.

In addition, I find myself taking more time to admire winter’s beauty. Just today, looking outside at my neighborhood, sunlight was reflecting from the pristine layer of snow that had accumulated all week. I realized this was truly a sight to behold.

This image by RIT photography prefessor Michael Peres captures the intricate beauty of a single snowflake.

And check out this perspective from RIT faculty and student photographers. Members of the Biomedical Photographic Communication program reprised an annual assignment this week that’s designed to capture the essence of winter at a microscopic level—one snowflake at a time. The different formation are fascinating to see, and I enjoy examining the results of their efforts every year.

Austin’s return to Rochester—which we’re still expecting will take place sometime later this month—will provide another perspective on winter that I hoping will continue to enhance my appreciation for the change in seasons.

But I’m not completely fooling myself. Rest assured that I’ll be doing the ‘happy dance’ when spring does finally arrive!

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