Lesson from the Snowstorm

When we picture Swarthmore’s campus, we usually think of a lush arboretum filled with trees. Plenty of green trees.

Drone photo of Parrish Hall
Drone photo of Swarthmore’s campus. Swarthmore is, indeed, a gorgeous campus.


Thanks to these beautiful trees, I usually relieve my stress by wandering into the Crum Woods or sitting silently at the Scott amphitheater by myself. Life at Swarthmore can be hectic at times, and that’s when silence comforts me.

Scott's Arboretum during Spring
Scott’s Amphitheater. During my International Student Orientation, I found this place calm and relaxing. Credit: Adam Lizzi from http://www.flickr.com

Earlier this spring, however, winter storms Riley and Quinn hit Swarthmore’s campus, covering every place on campus with massive snow. On one day, the snow fell so heavily that Swarthmore’s campus experienced a brief power outage until the backup power generators were successfully installed. For the first time in my life, I got to take a cold shower in the moonlight. 🙂

Below are some pictures of various landmarks of Swarthmore blanketed under the snow.

Bell Tower during snowstorm
Bell Tower under the snowstorm. Many Swarthmore students were awestruck by how strong the storms were. Credit: Greg Lee ’21
Scott's Amphitheater under snow
Scott’s Amphitheater under snow.
The trail from Parrish to Science Center
The pathway from Parrish Hall to Science Center was covered with snow.

Do you notice the difference between the last picture and the two above it? Whereas places in the two pictures above were equally covered in the snow, the last picture (the pathway from Parrish Hall to Science Center) was not. The pathway barely had any snow.

The reason is simple: there were many staff who worked despite the snow to keep the campus operating. It is extremely dangerous for people to walk or drive on a slippery slush under a heavy snowfall, so the staff made sure everyone could travel safely.

During the period when Swarthmore had to rely on backup generators, many Swatties agreed to save as much electricity as possible. In MATH029 (Discrete Mathematics) class, my professor asked whether students could see the blackboard clearly if she did not turn on the light. Everyone could.

These snowstorms made me fall in love with Swarthmore more than ever. Seeing people in the Swarthmore community ensuring that others are safe (i.e. clearing the pathway, saving the electricity) is a comforting experience — indeed.

P.S. The featured image of this post is how Swarthmore campus looks after the snowstorm. Beautiful as usual.


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