November thus far has been full of many pleasant surprises. One of these unexpected gifts was the beautiful 70-degree weather that lasted almost a whole week. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had already steeled themself for the frigid permacloud and constant darkness that is a Goshen Winter™. 

Yet defying all odds, we had summer in November. People whipped out their shorts and sandals – some even dared to swim in frigid waters! I for one, was eager to spend as much time outdoors, despite my homework load and classes. 

I decided on Monday that I would zoom into my linguistics class from outside. It was an innocent enough plan, and I was excited for the extra vitamin D boost. It all sounded so romantic to me – I would be getting a college education from the comfort of the great outdoors!  

Oh how ignorant I was. 

The first thing to bother me was the sunlight. While it felt glorious on my skin, the glare made it impossible to see anything on the screen. I played around with angles until I found one that was decent enough –  then the wind struck. 

The contents of my backpack began to fly away from me. My papers, my mask, even my water bottle, all flew to the ground in a cacophonous clammer. As I scrambled to pick everything up, my hair began whipping around my face making it almost impossible for me to see anything. I tried to weigh everything down with some heavier items, but my hair was still out of control and leaves were flying around everywhere. 

It’s safe to say I was not learning anything about linguistics at this point. 

Then the Wi-Fi began to cut out. Despite being right next to the Connector, separated by only a cinderblock wall, my connection was terrible. I couldn’t understand anything being said, and I kept being kicked out of the meeting over and over again. I moved my iPad as close to the Connector as possible, which did help a little, until a train decided to roll through campus. 

Listen, I understand why trains need to blow their annoying little horns. I’m not saying I want anyone to be hit by a train because they didn’t hear it coming. Of course not. But boy, trains sure are obnoxious sometimes. 

So yeah, for about five minutes I couldn’t hear anything that was going on in class, the sun was in my eyes and my hair was blowing everywhere. Wonderful.  

(I did see a cute squirrel holding a nut in its mouth during this time, which was pretty cute, I guess.) 

At this point there were still 15 minutes left in class, but I had given up. I left the meeting and walked to the library for my next zoom class. So much for a romantic homework session outdoors….You just can’t beat the controlled environment of the indoors.