Someone made momma angry. Mother Nature, in the last two years, has delivered a large number of hurricanes, two of which devastated the Gulf Coast. Nature has also deluged the Northeast with torrential rainstorms, causing unbelievable flooding everywhere from New Hampshire to New Jersey.

And yet, people complain about Rochester weather. Every day, as I use my elevator privileges to soar to the top of Susan B. Anthony Hall, I hear the complaints about the wind, or how the temperature is unbelievably cold – I’ve already noticed people gearing up in winter coats. I hear how the rain is a gigantic irritant, ruining the lives of make-up wearing girls everywhere. I can only imagine how many complaints will come pouring in after the first major frost. I wonder how you apply to UR and not also realize that our institution is in upstate New York, flanked on two sides by the Great Lakes. Perhaps the fine folks behind “The Princeton Review” omitted that obvious fact for people looking at colleges.

Much to the chagrin of my parents, I’m the kind of person you will see walking around in shorts and sandals until the snow starts. It is not just me trying to show off my bravado or prove my masculinity, it’s simply a result of my western Michigan roots. I grew up in a region of the country where winter is 10 months of the year, followed by a two-month heat wave – it’s easy for me. The Rochester weather may not be ideal, but it’s something to appreciate in comparison to weather around the country. I know what you’re thinking, “I have the right to complain about the weather – if you don’t like my complaining, then tough cookies, mister.”

With all due respect, many people need a meteorological attitude adjustment.

Weather, after all, shaped the world. In 1271 and 1284 A.D., the Mongols, fresh off their invasion of China, turned their sights on Japan. The Mongols, much stronger militarily than the Japanese, were thwarted. Not by the samurai – rather, the Mongol forces were annihilated by two typhoons, one during each invasion of the Japanese islands.

Weather continued to play a major part in military history. Bitter winter weather saved Russia from invasion twice, from Napoleon’s invasion, and later as the Germans marched to Moscow. Weather also determined the success of our D-Day invasion, without which World War II may never have ended.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. “Lousy” weather has killed off the dinosaurs, created our greatest sources of fresh water, leveled island civilizations, sunk vast numbers of sailing vessels and airplanes, determined the livelihoods of farmers and interrupted numerous sporting events of particular interest. It’s because of this vast rsum of experience that we need to learn to appreciate, and even embrace, our weather. It’s one of the charming little things that makes Rochester wonderful.

Tired of the monotony of rain? Go mudsliding like several other intrepid young college kids. Jump in the puddles. Enjoy the fun that the lake-effect precipitation has to bring!

Sunny days may not be chasing the clouds away, but really, history has never recognized a day for being 90 degrees with no cloud cover.

Brenneman can be reached at rbrenneman@campustimes.org.



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