Californian can’t believe how cold it is

Illustration by Sarah Bradbury

By MacKenzie Herring

Rumors of temperatures getting colder towards the end of the year have been circling around Lewis & Clark ever since move-in day, but it wasn’t until early November that certain members of the LC community found that these reports weren’t just gossip.

On Nov. 7, a traumatic scene took place outside Templeton as the first rush of students had just finished eating lunch at the Bon. After selecting from an unprecedented menu of quesadillas and some rice dish, Francisco Diego ’21, a freshman from California, exited Templeton’s doors only to face one of the most challenging journeys of his life.  

Bewildered and horrified, the Californian, outside of his natural habitat, had succumbed to the harsh realities of the tundra that is late-fall Portland. Gazing wistfully at the sight of his own breath, he retracted his neck into his jacket and turned towards his friend.

“I just can’t believe how cold it is,” Diego said.

Clutching his Patagonia fleece, he began the long, dreaded trek to Howard through the blustering storm of moderate autumnal weather.

As a light mist began to drift downwards, the Californian let out a groan and an expletive native to his coastal region. Upon rejecting a scarf and Carhartt hat from his friend, Diego left the scene to join a nearby pack of students clinging together for warmth.

Despite the pack’s geographic diversity, with members hailing from the Bay Area all the way to San Diego, the sense of unity was strong. Acting as one mass, they forged ahead in a large huddle closely resembling that of a rugby scrum. Aside from the Doc Martins quickly shuffling below the horde, individual bodies and silhouettes of the members became indistinguishable, forming an almost Kafkaesque insect of large proportion.

After the long and arduous journey, the pack finally arrived at Howard where the group frantically detached and fled to their next classes. Other than a few totally original “winter is coming” jokes, most further inquiries into the incident were met with silence from the participants.

“No one really told us this would happen, I couldn’t even tell people were dressing warmer,” Diego said. “I just assumed people were wearing corduroys and flannels for fashion purposes.”

*The Backdoor is a “work” of “fiction” and “humor.”

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