As We See It
‘Land mass’ hit by storm, classes continue
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 21:08
Just more than seven days ago, Hattiesburg was forced into a state of panic when The Weather Channel experts informed south Mississippi of a natural disaster headed our way — Hurricane Isaac.
Students, those living on and off campus, rushed to Wal-Mart to purchase the necessary supplies to survive a hurricane: flashlights, non-perishables and alcohol, lots and lots of alcohol.
On Monday, students at USM were greeted by text messages, phone calls and e-mails from trusty Eagle Alert, informing them that classes would not meet Tuesday and Wednesday to ensure the safety of everyone connected with the university.
Students responded to this news by further preparing themselves for the storm, mostly at Glory Bound with $6 pitchers of hurricanes and at Target stocking up on Little Debbies.
We awoke Tuesday morning expecting gusty winds and downpours of rain but instead saw blue skies and a comfortable breeze. As the day went on, the weather got slightly worse, but for the most part people were left wondering why we didn’t stay in school.
On Wednesday we saw much of the same in Hattiesburg, some rain and wind, but nothing too extreme. The bad weather had yet to reach us, though tornados on the Gulf Coast were headed our way, slowly terrorizing “that land mass” between Alabama and Louisiana.
Wednesday afternoon, just when things started to pick up outside, students received an Eagle Alert requiring them to be back in class bright and early Thursday morning.
And then, the world ended—at least you would think so according to posts on Facebook and Twitter. Students, parents and pretty much any rando that can use the Internet decided that it would be a great idea to chime in and let the administrators have a “piece of their mind” via USM’s official Facebook page.
In case you missed it, students were less than pleased with the administration’s decision to send everyone back to class.
Students who went home for the hurricane faced the dilemma of returning to Hattiesburg while Isaac was still a tropical storm or face the penalty of being absent from Thursday classes.
“I’m so glad we’re going to class in hurricane-like weather conditions,” said no one ever.
We get it. No one wants to go to class. It’s understandable. Most of us didn’t go to class, especially after the 9 a.m. tornado siren.
Yes, it was inconsiderate that the administration made the ill-advised decision to have classes Thursday. One could even argue they did not take into account the safety of returning and commuter students, but choosing to overload a social media outlet to lash out at some poor social media intern that runs the Facebook page isn’t the best approach.
So what have we learned from Hurricane Isaac?
1. When in doubt, buy more beer. You never know how long you’ll be without power, and you need your good friend Bud to see you through the storm. And in this case, if you don’t lose power, you can celebrate your good fortune.
2. Everyone has opinions, particularly people who have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Most of the time, those opinions are annoying once you’ve scrolled through 10 pages of them all saying the same thing. We like opinions, but really.
3. Mississippi apparently isn’t a recognized geographic entity. In fact, it is a “land mass” that lies between New Orleans and Mobile. See No. 2 for tips on how to not look like a tool on the Internet in regards to this one, too.
4. USM made a not-so-great decision in regards to returning to class. People got mad. Some people went to class Thursday, others did not. For those of you who are still drunk or still snacking on the Pringles you stocked up on, save some energy for the next hurricane. According to the radar, we haven’t seen the last of this hurricane season.