Winter brings cheer, respite
Many students find solace during the winter months in outdoor activities, such as skating on Johnson Pond.
Margaux LeBlanc ’15 could not help but gush about her favorite time of year: “Winter is the most beautiful season. There is nothing like waking up with fresh snow on the ground.” However, while the tranquil beauty of snow bears the initial appeal of the season, LeBlanc enjoys more than just looking at the white powder.
Amid all her other endeavors, LeBlanc never fails to indulge in her first love, skiing. Taught by her father to ski at age three, she drives up to Sugarloaf almost every weekend to ski with family members. Having been on the mountain countless times in the past, she said that the best thing about going to Sugarloaf is its “community spirit.”
“Once, a couple who run a summer camp together rode up on the lift with me. We had a nice conversation about summer camps, and they were so nice that they offered me a job without even really knowing who I am,” LeBlanc said.
Combining her love for skiing and community service, LeBlanc also volunteers for Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation. The organization, previously known as Maine Handicapped Skiing, aims to help people with physical disabilities enjoy fun winter activities, such as skiing and sledding. She teaches adaptive skiing and snowboarding techniques to participants and has been proudly doing so for four years.
Like LeBlanc, Will Norton ’13 is also an avid skier. He frequents the trails behind Runnals and said that one week in JanPlan, he went skiing four times. Aside from skiing, Norton also occupied himself this winter by participating in a school-wide game of Zombies vs. Humans.
The “glorified version of tag,” as he referred to it, was organized by students and played by about 40 people throughout the month of January. Initially, there were two “zombies,” whose goal was to propagate their species by tagging the “humans.” Most participants started out as “humans” and aimed to remain as such for as long as possible.
Norton said that the degrees of enthusiasm for the game varied among the players. Some joined the game simply for the laughs. Others took the game very seriously, carrying Nerf guns and socks in order to hit “zombies” and disable them for 10 minutes. Some really dedicated students hardly left their dorm rooms, which are safe zones, and sprinted to academic buildings to get to class. All in all, Zombies vs. Humans proved to be a big zany game, and Norton himself lasted almost three weeks as a “human.”
Still, winter activities are not limited to playing outdoor sports or trying to create an army of the living dead. Sometimes, wintry conditions may be so severe that being outdoors may be less than comfortable. LeBlanc herself said that she did not like “icy roads and doorsteps,” while Norton admitted that winter can be “bitterly cold” and that the skiing this season was dampened heavily by mixed precipitation.
Thus, it is no surprise that once winter comes around, many students choose to stay indoors and have fun without leaving the comfort of heated buildings. Kate Kimball ’15 used Netflix and Hulu regularly over JanPlan.
“When it gets too cold outside, it is nicer to stay inside and watch TV and movies,” Kimball said.
While she enjoyed sledding in front of Lorimer Chapel and playing on frozen Johnson Pond, she never failed to get her fix of her favorite TV shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless and Californication. Kimball frequented Miller Library’s movie collection and saw several films with her friends throughout JanPlan. Aside from watching TV and movies, she also spent her time indoors re-reading The Hunger Games series (in preparation for the release of the film adaptation) and playing games, such as Risk, Bananagrams and Taboo, with friends.
Whether you thrive in Maine’s cold winter months or hibernate inside, there is a vast array of winter activities available here on the Hill. Even the most finicky palate can surely be satisfied.