Whitman holiday celebration goes wrong

Conor Bartol, Takes great satisfaction telling people “see you next year!” on December 31st

Editor’s Note: Recently, a group of 3-2 engineering students built their own snow machine as a pre-winter solstice celebration project. They activated it on the Reid lawn, hoping for snowball fights and other tomfoolery. Unfortunately, they miscalculated the machine’s yield, and it encased Reid in a thick layer of ice, trapping dozens inside. The following is reprinted from a journal found after the building thawed out.


Day 1:

Somehow the building is trapped in a glacier. It’s a bit chilly, but the good news is we found some sleeping bags and winter coats in the Outdoor Program rental shop, and there’s plenty of snacks in Reid Market. All this should blow over soon. Worst case scenario, I miss my bio final (that’s okay, I was gonna fail anyway).


Day 3:

The snacks ran out fast, and it’s still getting colder. We’ve taken to burning our textbooks for the meager warmth they provide. We share stories around the flames about what we remember of the outside world, should we ever have the good fortune to see it again.


Day 4:

No more campfire stories. We’ve fractured completely, everyone joining up with a different gang, some striking out on their own. The old bonds of civil society that we once knew mean nothing beneath the ice.


Day 6:

By day I scavenge the basement for scraps of paper or bits of food, and at night I travel upstairs into the domain of the people calling themselves the Ice Weasels. I trade whatever I can for a pittance from their horde of snacks and a chance to pee in the one unfrozen toilet, which is in their territory. I am not yet desperate enough to burn this journal.


Day ??:

I hear hair dryers outside, the drip and crackle of thawing ice. Soon we will be free, and we can forget the things we were forced to do to outlast this bitter cold.


Editor’s Note: Everyone has been rescued from Reid at this time, with the exception of the so-called “Ice Weasels,” who have declared a sovereign nation of “Icetopia” and refuse to leave. Engineering students will not be allowed to throw any more “parties.”