Life After Ripon – Kyle Ruedinger ’13

Chapter 4: Dealing with the Cold and “Cancelled” Lectures

[Editor’s Note: Kyle Ruedinger ’13, Amy Browender ’13, Elizabeth Brown ’13, and Jessie Lillis ’13 are writing alternating monthly entries for the Ripon College Newsletter chronicling their post-graduation experiences. We hope you enjoy their perspectives on Life After Ripon!]

Well, the holidays have come and gone, and the snow and cold have come and… are still here. The Polar Vortex part two, as some of the nation’s most respected experts are calling the recent weather, shut down schools all across the country again, especially here in the Midwest, sans the good old Ripon College I hear. I do not ever recall my home K-12 district having four days cancelled in a year for anything, ever. I also do not recollect my alma mater ever cancelling classes in my four years tenure (guess that hasn’t changed!), although some professors who were snowed in would cancel their class and make students a little happier. UW-Madison remained open on the brutal Monday with wind chills more than 30 below zero. Lucky for me and my 84 classmates, we had a clinical lab in the afternoon with the dairy cattle in the semi-warm barn. (Think snuggling with a puppy by a fire and then triple that and you can understand the exothermic capabilities of a cow.)

After lab when students checked on their smartphones, an email from our Dean provided the desired message: classes were suspended the next morning, until noon. Mostly joy filled the room. However, those of us thinking more logically were saddened because we knew those “cancelled” lectures would inevitably be rescheduled because there is no cancelling class in our curriculum. It was even more disheartening when we realized we would be having some early morning lectures coming up since there is no other time to reschedule when you already have class from 8-5 every day. Sure enough, late Tuesday morning we received another email, this time from a professor. It went something like this:

“Dear students, I hope you are staying warm. I’m sure you are all enjoying your morning off of class. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to get behind in class and our Tuesday morning 10 am lecture has been rescheduled to Wednesday morning at 7. See you in class!”

And cue, “Oh shucks, we can’t even get one class off!” But hey, I’m paying money to learn, right? So, I should be more than pleased that my faculty are so committed to MY education that THEY are willing to show up to school extra early so that I do not miss out on learning time.

That was about the most drama I’ve experienced at school up to this point this year. All the new classes are going well, so far. It has been too chilly or snowy or icy to bike to class, so I am getting real good at the whole public transporting thing. That is one life skill I couldn’t learn in Ripon! I am already greatly looking forward to springtime with warmer temps and more outdoor fun.

Also, big news! The Badgers won their first bowl game since 2009, and former Badger Russell Wilson brought home the Super Bowl! Former Badger players were on both teams, so it was impossible not to win, but Badgers both won and lost. It’s like the football version of Schrödinger’s Cat. (If you were not a chemistry major at Ripon College and have never watched “The Big Bang Theory,” google the cat analogy.)

Stay warm out there!

Until next time,

Kyle Ruedinger ’13
[email protected]

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