As of Wednesday afternoon, there are predictions of a big snow on the horizon in Charlottesville. How will it stack up to past snows from U.Va.’s nearly 200-year history?
The University’s McCormick Observatory has been recording snowfall since 1894, and U.Va. climatologist Jerry Stenger provided this run-down of the biggest snow events on record, with a bonus pre-University 1772 snow from Mr. Jefferson’s own records at Monticello. Click for a bigger version:
Here’s an additional look at some of them:
The biggest storm recorded at McCormick, the “Knickerbocker Storm,” made headlines in Charlottesville’s Daily Progress. The Jan. 28, 1922, edition (conveniently available as part of a U.Va. Library archive) reported that overnight snowfall made “the world around look like real winter.” The front page:
From the Daily Progress, “The believers in the ground hog theory are the only ones probably who felt any sense of elation over the terrible weather that has occured”:
(and check out a Storify of student posts from that storm)
Have photos or records of the storms we are missing? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This my last post before the travel frenzy begins! After 2 weeks of class every day (no weekends aboard the MV Explorer; only A Days and B Days), the abroad experience begins tomorrow. I’ll be visiting five countries during the next six weeks (Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Burma), and will spend six days in each of them, with the exception of Singapore (two days). We’re scheduled to port in Japan tomorrow, and everyone onboard is in an anxious, excited and happy state of mind. After seeing nothing but blue outside for 11 straight days, Japan will be on the horizon tomorrow!
All this week we’ve had evening lectures on Japanese culture and how to travel well. We have a guest lecturer on board who has been presenting every night on the culture and customs in Japan – did you know that the Japanese don’t allow people with tattoos to enter their famous hot springs locations? It has to do with gang violence issues.
My classes this week have all discussed Japanese culture…
And tests started this week – teachers sped up the coursework to get a big bulk through before Asia hits. That said, I do have two midterms the day after we leave Singapore, but I have hope in that 24-hour buffer for now!
Then comes the JaPlanning. I think Semester at Sea is a great social experiment: Let’s put 550 strangers on a boat together in the middle of the Pacific, give them two weeks to form alliances, and then unleash them into the entire Asian continent. Which friendships will survive? Which will fall apart? Will the groups make it back to the ship on time… or will they make it at all?
Someone should do a study. Or a reality TV show.
The drama aside, choosing who your friends are going to be on this voyage is an interesting process. While everyone is super friendly, and we all initially want to meet each other, we’re all also analyzing each other to figure out is this a person that I would be okay spending a week in Burma with on our own? It’s a process that happens any time you start a new school or move to a new place, but here, it’s accelerated, and the stakes are much higher.
While that may sound a little scary, the diversity and overall friendliness of students, opportunities for community involvement, and the close proximity we all share within the ship make it near-impossible not to find a travel buddy or two. I think that a group with two to four people is best for this type of spontaneous, backpacker-type adventure, but I’ve seen some travel groups forming that have 10 people in them – and I silently wish them luck.
How do you decide what to do in country? It’s complicated. If you sign up with SAS field programs, you’re set – they plan all your excursions for you. If you decide to travel independently, however, you plan everything on the ship beforehand – with only two hours of Internet allowed for the entire voyage.
Your travel research options are:
Most SASers fall into the B and E categories, in my experience, but so far I’ve seen a bit of everything.
As for me, I was incredibly lucky to hear from an old family friend who lives in Japan. She has offered me and my friend Grace her place to stay in downtown Tokyo during our first few nights! Stoked, blessed and wondering how I’m going to fit six days of travel needs in my backpack…
Editor’s note: Lauren Jones, a third-year student majoring in English and Economics, is blogging about her Semester at Sea experience. If you’ve missed her earlier entries, start at the beginning: Ready to Set Sail on Semester At Sea
A team of U.Va. students created an entry for the International District Energy Association’s annual Campus Energy System video contest, with some help from members of the U.Va. a capella group ChoosE.
Check out their entry below on U.Va.’s energy use and “like” it on the UVa Sustainability Facebook page.
The Cavalier Daily created the #CAValanch hashtag just before the snow began to fall on Wednesday, and the U.Va. community used it to document the snow day on…
As of Wednesday afternoon, there are predictions of a big snow on the horizon in Charlottesville. How will it stack up to past snows from U.Va.’s nearly 200-year…