February 21st, 2009


A Series of Non-Events

Actual One

Last weekend the forecasts were all about the storm coming on Thursday. Sunday Channel 3 out of Kalamazoo was predicting 10" of snow. But by Monday the other meteorologists were saying they wouldn't try to call it for a few days, that the models were too different and everything depended on how the storm actually tracked. Still, they were talking rain turning into snow and then rain again, making for a lot of slush. Since I'd assigned a nasty take-home quiz to all three classes, one involving solving six equations in six unknowns by brute force algebra only, I changed its due date to Friday. No point in people getting into trouble on the road just to turn in a quiz.

But by the time Thursday had come, the slushy stuff was on Wednesday and not much of a problem. Colder and windier on Thursday itself, but ultimately not much of a problem either. True, west of us along the Lake Michigan shore a lot of places got clobbered. The heavy snow band, said to go from Muskegon to Jennison to Battle Creek, failed to make it to anywhere on US-131 or the northern part of Kalamazoo. A few places had windswept dry snow blowing around, but otherwise we had sun and blue sky on the way down.

When I came out in the evening to drive home, people were brushing off a small amount of snow. But the 1996 Blazer is pretty aerodynamic and other than lifting the wiper blades to make sure they weren't glazed to the windshield, there was nothing to brush off.

Actual Two

Less severe than Thursday's storm, WOOD-AM was reporting heavy blowing and drifting snow in Allegan County on Friday morning, said to be making US-131 both was "miserable". Allendale had these big fluffy compound snowflakes which didn't want to fall, but just sort of hung in the air. Needless to say, given this entry's title, US-131 was full speed all the way and sunshine, too.

Scheduled Three

All three of my classes had Exam 2 scheduled on Thursday 26 February 2009. But with the death of former WMU President Diether Haenicke, current President Dunn sent an email announcing that all classes on the 26th would be canceled from 1:45 to 5:00 pm to allow faculty, staff and students attend the memorial service in Miller Auditorium. That pretty much meant that I had to move Exam 2 to Wednesday, but unfortunately a lot of the Wednesday classes which don't meet on Thursday were already scheduling exams before Spring Break.

My student lose both a day to study and many end up with multiple tests on the same day. Wednesday will be a long day for everyone.

Scheduled Four

The sad thing is that if President Dunn is expecting a lot of students to show up for the memorial service, he'll be disappointed. See, Friday the 27th is WMU Spirit Day. It used to be the day before the Homecoming football game, but the other year Spirit Day was moved to the Friday before Spring Break. So somehow we celebrate our school spirit... by leaving town early?

With Thursday the 26th afternoon classes, how much you wanna bet that a lot of students will bag their Wednesday morning classes and start Spring Break a day, or even a day-and-a-half, early.

And that's how you get a series of non-events around here.


It's 3am and we're expecting heavy snow, about 1-2" per hour, from 4am to 4pm on Saturday. We'll see. (grin)

Dr. Phil