By Alex Zepeda
This spring, local Humboldt County residents left their homes and experienced a strange phenomenon in the sky. The usual dreary gray fog and gloom was replaced with blue skies and a rare, unobstructed glimpse of the amazingly bright yellow ball of light known as the sun.
Students and citizens alike celebrated by putting away their Carhartts and rain gear in favor of tank tops and shorts. With this sudden, unexpected weather change, the Humboldt State University campus was abuzz with students soaking up the sun on every conceivable lawn.
Because the heat wave was unexpected, many students changed their daily routines to embrace this rare opportunity.
Raymond Williams, a 19-year-old biology major, said that he tried to make the most of the wild weather. Williams says he was outside as much as possible.
“Every day that it was sunny, I tried to do something different,” Williams said. “I went to the beach, Mad River, I hiked around the community forest, threw a barbecue, drank beer and smoked using a magnifying glass! I also got pretty sunburned and missed a Moodle assignment but it was totally worth it.”
The heat wave was caused by a patch high-altitude northeast winds that blew warmer air towards the coast, creating abnormally high temperatures up and down the west coast, from the pacific northwest to the Bay Area.
Gregory Lerma, a 21-year-old business major, however, said the weather didn’t alter his routine much.
“I tanned throughout campus to show off my incredulous body,” Lerma said. “But other than that, it [the weather] didn’t change my overall daily activities.”
For Lerma, school is a full-time job.
“I try not to procrastinate, so the sunshine didn’t affect my study habits,” he said. “In fact, I moved up to Humboldt to enjoy the clouds and cold weather, and to escape the heat of my home town.”
Sarah Kolar, a 23 year-old math major, is also a tutor who works in the Math Lab. She noticed a definite difference in students’ attendance and work ethic when the weather changed.
“When the weather is nice, I noticed that students are more motivated to finish up work to go outside,” said Kolar. “Even though there was a lot of homework due, it seemed that students were waiting until later in the day to come in and work on their homework, instead of coming in earlier in the afternoon, like they normally do. I know on a personal level I still did my homework, but I made sure to pick a location where I could feel the sun and be in a warm place.”
Anthony Reyes, a 20-year-old chemistry major, said that the recent weather has helped motivate him to get in better shape.
“I woke up the other day and I saw the sun streaming through my windows,” Reyes said. “I decided that I was going to bike to school instead of ride the bus like I usually do. I rode my bike to school all week last week and it was great. I can’t believe I never tried that before. After class, I bike to the marsh or around the plaza then go to my friends house or something before going home to study.”
No more heat waves were expected as the semester came to a close.