Do I Have To Die Before UTM Shuts Down?

Kimberly Johnson


There was a time when news of a winter storm brought a sense of hope to my soul. As a child, it was tradition to crowd around the big grey box (remember those?) at 6am and wait for the weather man/woman to announce the cancellation of your board’s school day.  The night before, my brother and I would pray extra hard that tomorrow our dream would come true, and then (because we shared a room) we would fall asleep under the gentle glow of street lights reflecting off of piling snow.

That was the dream.

And then I grew up and went to UTM.

Now, if there’s anything I know about this school, it’s this: if there was an apocalypse and zombies were feeding on the limbs, brains, and hearts of faculty and students, UTM would still be “open and proceeding as normal.”

While I appreciate UTM’s “Go get-em” spirit, sometimes I just wish UTM wasn’t so persistent on staying open. Frankly put, sometimes you gotta shut down, take a nap and wait for the storm to pass.  Sometimes, Kim must return to her blankets away from the mean, horrible thing called snow.

On a certain Tuesday a few weeks ago, there was a particular storm that ravaged my beloved Mississauga. I awoke, rather disgruntled, because mornings aren’t my thing (unless a coffee is promptly handed to me…then and then only are they my “thang”). I glanced out my window and gasped. My beautiful city was under attack. Snow flew everywhere and my surroundings were despicable. I immediately grabbed my phone to check Twitter. I scanned my feed.

Surely this will be the day. Surely classes aren’t running. Not with this abomination called snow, I thought. Nothing. It was 8am, which means my fears were realized. I had school. My brother didn’t.

My heart sank and so did my stomach there after as I got ready. I slipped on layer after layer, wrapping myself in sweaters and jackets. I looked like a very terrified brown snowman – scratch that – a super hot, mostly disgruntled, terrifically brown snowman. I examined myself in the mirror and muttered a line from “Sexy Back.” It felt fitting.   I wobbled to the door, mumbled a prayer and that speech from Brave Heart (even though it has nothing to do with my particular predicament), and I left my home – that sweet comfortable home. I journeyed across the wintery tundra, muttered the twenty third Psalm like an old man with conviction, caught my bus and wondered:

Do I have to die before UTM shuts down?