Most of the time during
the dark, cold winter months in New England, one thing can
be counted on: the presence of snow. People who have grown
up in the region know that in New England, snow and winter
are practically synonymous. Some are even fond of the stuff.
Here at Smith, students can
hardly imagine a school year passing without those nose-running
winds of late and the icy, drifty, sidewalk-blocking, light-reflecting,
But for many students here who
hail from more temperate climes, the white stuff is a brand
when Kiara Curbelo-Infante ’06 of Miami,
Florida, saw snow for the first time, she was impressed. “The
first time it snowed, I was super excited,” she says, “like,
what’s this white stuff falling from the sky? I just
wanted to play.”
Curbelo-Infante had predicted -- correctly -- an
unpleasant winter this year. “I expected it to be one
of the worst winters,” she says, “really cold.
Coming from Miami, where it’s 80 degrees all the time,
if it gets below 60, you freeze. It’s really different.”
winter, when Rebekah Nazarian ’05, of Fort Worth,
Texas, saw snow for the first time, she didn’t quite
know how to prepare -- but that didn’t matter.
“I was so excited when
I saw snow that I went out there with flip-flops,” she
says, “without any gloves, and
dug a huge piece of snow just to feel how soft it was. I
was amazed at the texture, how it sparkled and shimmered.
Snow made everything so pretty.”
In contrast, Eireann
Flannery, a senior art major from Half Moon Bay, California,
was not prepared her first year when
the temperatures started falling. “I freaked out,” she
admits. “When the leaves started falling off the trees,
I thought they were all dying and no one else had noticed
it. I’d never seen fall before. And then the snow:
I’d seen it, but had never seen it actually fall from
the sky. I had to stop our entire class and make everyone
look at it.”
There are no official statistics,
but given the large percentage of Smith students from southern -- and
even tropical -- climates,
it’s likely that in any given winter, many, like these
women, are experiencing snow for the first time in their
Some have been surprised. Eleanor
Ory ’06, of
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, knew Massachusetts would probably
cold when she set out for Smith last summer. But she discovered
an interesting phenomenon. “It actually struck me as
always being warm inside [here],” she says. “It’s
always cold indoors in Florida. I went from cold to warm.
I love it.”
After adjusting to and accepting
typically cold weather and snow, many students come to find
and even refreshing. The key to enjoying it, they agree,
is to know how to dress.
“I learned how to buy winter clothes, like, good ones,” says
“Layering,” notes Flannery. “Very important.”
Boots. Its all in the tread, Ory advises.
There is no reason, these students have learned, to fear the snow, wind, sleet, ice, hail and cold. They just make sure theyre well stocked with wooly sweaters and socks. And theyre careful when they traverse the campus slippery sidewalks.