My NU moment: Nov. 3

Kris Anne Bonifacio

Snowstorms never really fazed me. Maybe it’s because I never spent my childhood eagerly anticipating snow days or dreaming of a white Christmas that I never quite knew how much snow was too much snow. In the Philippines, where I grew up, you knew a typhoon was really bad when you stepped outside and saw people walking waist-deep in floods. Here, snow is snow, and plows and shovels clear it away before it gets too cumbersome.

So on that fateful Tuesday last February, I didn’t quite understand what all the hype was about. There was a big snowstorm. Big deal. Isn’t this Chicago? Don’t we get snowstorms all the time?

It was hard not to get excited when everyone around me was buzzing at the news. My suitemates rearranged our furniture so that our couches were facing the windows. The Daily canceled publication for the first time in, well, probably ever. And there was thundersnow. Thunder during a snowstorm!

In the midst of all the excitement, my friend uttered the words that would change my life forever (OK, a little dramatic): “Let’s go outside.”

We weren’t just talking about a five-minute venture into the outdoors. My friend wanted to walk in the middle of the snowstorm – even as we could hear the thunder – to Burger King and back.

A mere two hours earlier, I debated whether I would be a horrible person to subject the Joy Yee’s delivery guy to bringing me my dinner in the midst of a snowstorm. I knew I didn’t know a lot about snowstorms, but something told me that when Northwestern cancels classes for the first time in ages, it must be saying something about the severity of the storm.

Call me crazy, but I dutifully put on my sweatpants and my coat.

When we got to the entrance of our dorm, the snow literally prevented us from opening the door. We gladly took on the challenge and managed to dig our way out into the cold midnight air. But we hadn’t even reached the Rock when I began to seriously doubt the intelligence of this plan. There was a lot of snow everywhere, and what’s even worse is that I’m shorter than your average human, so I was pretty much wading through the waist-high snow.

I considered going back, but my friend told me, “We’re on a mission to Burger King. We can’t back out now.”

Sheridan Road was empty. Every 10 seconds, I would open my eyes to find out where we were, but when I tried to keep my eyes open for longer than that, my eyes would literally burn from the cold. The typically 10-minute trek to Burger King took half an hour.

But when we walked into the restaurant, what we saw made us proud to have made that trek. BK was packed with fellow Snowpocalypse trekkers. Standing in line with the rest of them made me feel like a proud member of a cool (quite literally) club.

As I sat down and enjoyed my BK treat, I looked around and I could feel how proud we all were for braving the storm. Police cars were driving around the streets outside, and I overheard someone say that they were offering people rides home from the storm. That night, I saw a once-in-a-lifetime picturesque scene of Evanston quite literally buried in snow.

And best of all, at the end of my probably dangerous and most likely stupid foray into one of Chicago’s worst snowstorms, I finally understood what it meant to have too much snow.

– Kris Anne Bonifacio