The Blizzard of 2015
By: Connor Lenahan
It’s officially time to start speaking in historic terms. This isn’t your average, everyday snow storm. This is advanced snow. According to Gawker, if Boston sees the snow it is supposed to get tomorrow then it will be the snowiest 30 day period in Boston history. The fabled Blizzard of 1978 will fall from it’s place atop the most disruptive snow storms in Boston history.
I have had the same thought in my head for days now – How do you deal with this? I’ve talked to people that have lived through extreme cold and heavy snow. My mother was born in Minnesota, as were both of her parents, my grandparents. They’re all down in Pennsylvania. They are all pretty astonished at how Boston has managed to live safely through the onslaught of precipitation. They’re even more dumbfounded and excited by the fact I’ve been able to stay safe during it all.
Me. The same person who has broken a vertebrae by leaning over and a femur while sitting down in a wheelchair. Yet in the most historic snow storm in almost 40 years, with close to 60 inches of snow on the ground come Tuesday, I’m healthy and happy. Yes I’m furiously knocking on wood right now.
But here’s the thing: I’ve had to do my own share of crazy things to stay safe. I’ve lost all count on the number of classes I’ve had to miss due to safety concerns. That’s not including the snow days. Boston is a notorious snow town, but to get four snow days (at least) from Boston University is something I never thought I would ever get. There is not a student on this campus that I know of that hasn’t had their schedule entirely obliterated due to the snow. Again, history makes everything change.
I’ve been shocked at how well Boston University has handled snow removal thus far. Given, it could be a lot better, but the fact I can get to classes at all is an achievement. Asking for perfectly manicured handicapped ramps right now is beyond selfish. I can get around to most of my places when the snow melts. The next two days? I’m going to have to take it safe, but that’s just because I think it’ll be hard for friends of mine that are here to be student-athletes to navigate campus, let alone someone with mobility and fragility issues.
I am shorter than the snow drifts that are lining the city. Two more feet on top of the three that already here is going to be insanity. I knew this storm would be amazing in its scope, but when you get 1.5X your yearly snowfall in a three week period then, holy shit. Boston isn’t exactly known for being easy to navigate in the summertime. Doing it with a Connor Lenahan of snow on the ground? Good luck.
I’ve felt bad recently only because I don’t like feeling like I’m going overboard for no reason. Recently I had been able to get to classes again because I figured out a safe enough system to get to the other side of campus and back home without crossing the nightmare that is the BU Bridge – a landmark that has cause me enough issue that I’m laying groundwork to meet with Boston Mayor Marty Walsh about it. I don’t like being busy with catch up work when I don’t have to be. Yes, I wish I never had to do busy work, but having to do three week’s in triple time is unbearable. Is it all busy work? Of course not, which only amplifies the problem.
I had said to all of my professors recently something that rings true for any and all students that may have concerns with mobility. I made it clear that I am a student here at Boston University and I take pride in being a hard working student, especially in disciplines I plan to work in – I am currently taking multiple classes based on sports and television. However, I have seen the negative effects of taking too great a risk before.
I am not too proud to admit I have been terrified more than once during this storm. This terror is purely related to the forces controlling weather, not the people that have shown an amazing willingness to help me through this whole event. I want Unbreakable to be more than a motivating adjective and be an identity. It’s tough enough to handle the winter given slipping hazards all around. This? This is unlike anything I could have thought of. I wouldn’t even write this harsh of a winter into a script. Because I have had to face the reality that my control over my safety is almost entirely out of my hands until the snow dissipates. I am living in uncertainty only because now every step I take, even sometimes in my own building, I must be conscious of. I never, ever like to dwell upon this, but the thought of having to be conscious of every step you take is exhausting.
But, and this is paramount, because of the wonderful help of people around campus I’m still safe, still rolling, still as up to date as possible. Even though this storm pretty much couldn’t get worse than it is now it could have been worse for me. So even when I’m watching piles form and cut off the streets around me and questioning why I ever came to this city for school, I think of how I’m totally fine right now and the people who kept me that way. Snow and all, I wouldn’t have it any other way.