You know, I get it. It’s snowing. It sucks. Trust me, I hate it more than you. Every winter I feel racism boiling inside me as I think of the white people who forcibly removed my ancestors from their tropical paradise (“paradise” in my mind’s eye, of course), setting in motion the series of events that led me to having to purchase a pair of “boots” just to walk out my door.
But people really need to stop freaking out. It’s winter. This is what happens in winter. Deal. Go to work. Or don’t go to work. Wear layers, drive slowly, settle for a sub-par relationship so you don’t have to go out on a date in this weather.
Apparently, at Cardozo normal life functions have broken down to the point that the administration needs to remind students how to walk. I’m being serious. Cardozo sent around walking instructions to its law students.
UPDATE: A reader points out that the email — although received by all Cardozo law students, several of whom shared it with us — actually went out to everyone at Yeshiva University, from an official at the medical school (the Albert Einstein College of Medicine).
And you wonder why law students graduate without knowing how to wipe their own behinds…
Look, full disclosure, one time I was drunk in Boston trying to navigate the slick cobblestone in February. I couldn’t do it. I ended up crawling the length of Cambridge Commons on my hands and knees. I failed at walking.
But you know what? I learned. I learned on my own (walk in the street, or on the grass, or don’t drink so goddamn much). You’re supposed to learn to walk naturally, you don’t need the help of a law school to teach you the ropes.
I would have made this argument earlier, but I didn’t know it was necessary until I saw the following email that went to all law students at Cardozo:
Dear University Community,
Housekeeping, Grounds and Supporting Services have been working hard to keep the streets, roads, stairs and lobbies clear of ice, snow and water buildup. Because there are so many walking and driving surfaces around the University, it is difficult to ensure that every surface it treated properly at all times.
With the very difficult winter we have been having so far and with the icy, snowy and wet surfaces, it might be worthwhile to review some tips on how to walk on ice, snow and wet surfaces safely.
Wear boots or overshoes with rubber soles. Avoid walking in shoes that have smooth surfaces, which increase the risk of slipping.
Walk consciously. Be alert to the possibility that you could quickly slip on an unseen patch of ice, snow or wet surface. Avoid the temptation to run to catch a bus or beat traffic when crossing a street.
Walk cautiously. Your arms help keep you balanced, so keep hands out of pockets and avoid carrying heavy loads that may cause you to be off balance.
Walk “small.” Avoid an erect, marching posture. Look to see ahead of you where you step. When you step on icy areas, take short, shuffling steps, curl your toes under and walk as flatfooted as possible.
Walk consciously. Walk consciously! The email is reminding people to be awake while they are walking. With this kind of institutional mothering, it’s a wonder Cardozo hasn’t been raided by Brooklyn and relieved of their lunch money.
Sorry, there’s more:
Point your feet out slightly like a penguin. Spreading your feet out slightly while walking on ice increases your center of gravity.
Bend slightly and walk flat footed with your center of gravity directly over the feet as much as possible
Watch where you are stepping and GO SLOWLY!! This will help your reaction time to changes in traction.
When walking on steps, always use the handrailings and plant your feet firmly on each step.
Use special care when entering and exiting vehicles; use the vehicle for support.
Take short steps or shuffle for stability. It also helps to stop occasionally to break momentum.
When entering buildings, ice, snow and water on shoes or surfaces can also make for slippery surfaces within buildings. Observe the same precautions as listed above.
And on the off chance that Cardozo students can’t read, the school also provided a visual aid:
Dude. DUDE. This is off-the-chain ridiculous. It’s SNOW. Let’s try to have some perspective.