Widgets Magazine

An open letter to Stanford fall weather


Dear California Weather,

Hey. Let me start off by saying how much I love you. Like, obsessed. I come from the relentlessly-tropical Singapore — one degree north of the equator — and so you are to me what Facebook is to a never-ending Thinking Matters discussion: blissful relief. I mean, even Katy Perry sang about you and your greener grass, and she only sings truth.

But it seems like our honeymoon period might well be over. I won’t mince my words: I didn’t fly halfway across the world for gray skies, halfhearted downpours and soggy shoegazing pedestrians. I would’ve gone to school on the East Coast if I’d wanted that.

What happened, honey? One moment you were all crisp blue skies and delightful balmy weather and cool evenings, and then you suddenly flipped and freaked. I suppose what this means is that you’ve got a really brilliant PR team — I wasn’t told about the possibility of this happening when I signed on the dotted line and said yes to Stanford. I’m not prepared to deal with this. It’s like that feeling of crushing disappointment you get when you head out to Late Nite only to find that it is closed. Or when you get back to your room after an impossible day only to find The Sock on your doorknob again. Or when you register for a class because you read on CourseRank that the TA is gorgeous and French and gives everyone A’s, only to find out that he really is a creepy grad student who only gives you an A if you are willing to go to his “office hours” from 8-10 p.m. every Saturday at Rains.

You get the point. In this past week alone I have skipped three lectures, witnessed four bike accidents and been wet and miserable every single day. I have also caught a cold, and I can tell you from personal experience that having both mucus and rain dribbling down your chin while you are cycling is not the most glamorous or practical of looks. When I said I wanted to get into the festive spirit, I did not quite mean looking like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer.

But the awkwardness of sitting through econ lecture in wet jeans is a stroll in the (flooded) park compared to the hot shame of having your Stanford weather brag busted. My friend from Georgetown came over to visit last weekend, and of course it had to rain the entire time he was here. Suddenly all the times I guffawed to him, “Wait, it’s cold and gray over there now? I just had a picnic outside,” didn’t seem quite so clever after all. The look of saltiness on his face is not one I will forget any time soon, and my damaged dignity has not since been restored. The only thing damper than my spirits is Wilbur Field.

I guess I have what they call seasonal affective disorder. Evidently whoever coined this term is a sick bastard, because it spells out “sad” in acronym. According to Wikipedia, one in four Londoners is affected by it. You’d think that’s a high number of people, but judging by how erratically everyone has been careening across White Plaza on their bikes these past two weeks, I’d guess nine in 10 Stanford students have SAD, with the other one simply normalized to rarely seeing the sunlight.

So, dear Weather, while I love you, please get your shit together.

Renjie Wong

  • sobriquetrouge

    Don’t cry about it — get a rain jacket and pants. When you get to class, take them off, hang them up in the back. You can bike to class and enjoy the whole thing completely dry.. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Armadillo-Waterproof-Micro-fiber-rain-jacket-and-pants-Black-3XL/15117935

  • jack

    columbia student — trust me, you have it good

  • AJ

    Today’s weather was awesome! Light drizzle with warm undertones and a hint of eucalyptus. Yum.

  • newyork1974

    Back in the 1890s, the “Cornell Colony,” which was half the faculty, was sending letters home to balmy Ithaca about the terrible weather at Stanford. To hear them tell it, Palo Alto was a desert: nothing green, no rain, just dust swirling around. Apparently. the campus hadn’t been seeded to grass yet, sidewalks hadn’t been laid out and there was a lot of building construction going on. The Stanford librarian, who must have remembered Cornell in the spring, summer and fall when, as the t-shirts read, “Ithaca is gorges” (make that the late spring, summer and early fall) wrote heartfelt poetry about “Ithaca, My Ithaca,” where there is definitely no shortage of water. The letters and poetry usually make for funny reading.

  • Sakoo

    transfer out.

  • Guest

    It’s cute to see freshmen start to lose the starry eyes over Stanford, but if you were honestly “misled” about Stanford’s weather, then you didn’t do your research. A simple Google search would have told you how many sunshine-hours Stanford gets, how many inches of rain, the average humidity, etc. I would think that incoming students would have this info fresh in their memory, given they just had to make their college choice.