Study Hal: Week 37 – False Spring

Okay, this week we planned on making a joke this week that it’s still too cold to go outside. But when Hal went to check, he discovered it was a balmy 57 ºF. At that point, the goof was dead. Who cares if there’s snow on the ground and only a couple plants are growing? If it’s warm enough for the snowdrops to bloom, it’s warm enough for Hal to sit in his favorite chair.

Hal has been so excited for spring. It’s his favorite season, and with all his classes online, having time outside is a real mental health boost. Michigan weather has a way of lulling you into a false sense of security, though. I have a feeling there are still several 40º days ahead, but I don’t have the heart to mention that to Hal…

If you’re new here, welcome in! Hal is a senior studying remotely from his hometown in Michigan. He’s back every Tuesday, but if you want more you can always check out the Study Hal tag!

Rainbow Road

the rain comes on suddenly,

too sudden.

they are unprepared, their hoods from their hoodies

are all they have, their

 umbrellas are forgotten at home, they are

 unfamiliar with michigan weather,

where the saying goes 

“if you don’t like the weather,

wait ten minutes.” 

they realize this soon but

not soon enough.

the water that the drain rejected has seeped

into their converse, their nike air force ones, their checkered vans,

 cleaning the once-white soles but 

leaving them damp,


their solution for this is coffee 

like it is for many of their problems,

cold, iced tea, contrasting with the weather,

whisked in their hands, flurrying away. 

the sidewalks get their dose of cleaning, from 

shoes that walk miles upon it every day,

the leaves lose their crunch, and instead

shine brightly on the pavement,

like walking on rainbow road

from mario kart.

a topic of conversation,

rain is.

all day long, 

coats are thrown off, umbrellas shaken at doorsteps, 

they say “it’s pouring out there!” 

and they have this same conversation every time it rains,

their shoes always get wet, 

they always get coffee,

they always walk on rainbow road,

they go through this every time it rains,

and yet their love for it 

never wavers. 

The Art of Dressing for Lukewarm Weather

Is it just me or is attempting to comfortably walk outside with clothes on getting progressively more difficult as the we move into spring? Looking out of the window on a typical week day, the sun is shining, so naturally us Michiganders are entranced by the unnatural brightness that is taking over the campus. We pull off the long pants and winter jackets, and look for items to be worn for warmer weather. Yet, after walking outside for a total of ten steps we realize the wind chill is -50, 90% of the campus is covered in 10 degree shade, and the classrooms that we spend half of the day in are still considerably chilly given the recent warmer climate. What are we to do in order to stay warm, whilst also staying cold? I think that makes sense..

What is the art of dressing for lukewarm weather? Unfortunately I’m not quite sure, but I figure that if we break this down together, going season by season, then contrasting Michigan seasons to those outlines, we might find an efficient way to satisfy our temperature styling mishaps.

Okay, so when we think of spring what comes to mind? Minimizing! That’s one thing. Whether it be downsizing the puffy winter coat, trading in the jeans for a pair of shorts or a flowy skirt, or even going for open-toed shoes, spring is all about stripping away the unnecessary fluff and enjoying the sunny weather. However, another aspect that comes to mind when we think of spring is the frigid winds, and the unexpected days where the temperature will drop 20 degrees just for the heck of it! So what to do, what to do… Maybe some light layering might help! Jackets, scarves, hats, tights, all are able to add some warmth with light layer-able styles that’ll allow us to  survive until reaching the next warm patch of sun.

We pretty much know that in transitional seasons like spring and fall, we have to prepare for the low temps with extra clothes on our bodies, but what about the ups? When you walk outside with a hoodie, jeans, and tennis shoes on, you expect that’ll be enough, but oh no wow the campus is suddenly 90% sun and you’re 100% hot! This, my Arts Inksters, is a problem I surely haven’t found an answer to. I mean you can’t remove everything you’ve worn for the day in the middle of the Diag! My best advice is to bring a backup t-shirt or shorts, even if it is a hassle, you won’t regret you’re reduced body temp while you’re walking around in this lukewarm weather.