This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The shuttle

Today (Jan 15, 2009) was bitterly cold, with the temperature never getting above zero despite the bright sunshine. However, it could have been much worse--the wind was gentle, so the wind chill was not a great deal lower than the actual temperature.

Yesterday I heard some Saint Joseph's College students suggest that they needed a shuttle bus to get from the dorm to classes. I told them they were a bunch of wimps. I told that how back when I was young, our parents did not let us wear our shoes until after the first significant snowfall, and how we had to chip ice off the water in the morning so we could wash our face and hands. And how we walked three miles to school and back, uphill both ways. (You can add your favorite hardship of youth in the comments.)

So I was amused this morning to find that the students had received the following e-mail:

Subject: [ALL-STUDENTS] Need a ride?
Date: Thu, January 15, 2009 9:15 am

Are you afraid of of catching frostbite today while walking across campus? Would you like a free ride to class or the cafe' without digging out your car? If so, today St. Joe's is offering you a ride in a motor coach. The bus will be driving around campus to pick up and drop off anyone who would like to avoid the harsh elements. If you see the bus, simply flag it down. As it continues on its route around campus hop off at your destination. The bus service will be running between 9 am - 4pm. Stay warm!

Here it is, the Puma shuttle. I am happy to report that it was mostly empty.

Seriously, the cold can be dangerous if you do not dress properly. Wear many layers. (I went with five this morning.) On my way home, one of my colleagues was having problems getting her car started and she had to pick up her kids. Unfortunately, I could not help her. I hope she solved the problem.

Subject: [ALL-STUDENTS] Campus Shuttle Tomorrow
Date: Thu, January 15, 2009 2:44 pm
From what we hear, the campus shuttle has been a big hit today. Because of this and the fact it will still be bitterly cold tomorrow, the bus will be run around campus again on Friday between 8 am and 4 pm. Enjoy and stay warm!

Update 2:
Friday evening
The furnace was on most of the night and this morning my computer said it was -17 outside. An SJC student said it was -22 at her mother's house. One of the secretaries said her car would not start. It was very cold, but there was almost no wind. The good news is that the temperature is now above freezing--it is a balmy 3 above according to the computer.

From my brother, who still lives in Minnesota:
"I walked a mile to high school every morning, and we had at least 10 days under 20 below in an average winter up in Little Falls. I still remember many a morning sitting through the first hour of classes with my ears and toes stinging from frost bite. And the idea that they would call off a day of school because it was too cold! Never happened. The weather the last couple days has reminded me of that."
A last note--WLFI said the low for Rensselaer was -23.

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