The older I become, the more I find myself sharing my unsolicited advice with younger folks. I have become one of those matronly ladies that I recall from my youth – ladies who act like your mother, but aren’t. While I recall being polite in regard to receiving advice from these ladies, I do not recall changing course to follow it.
I have some semblance of a platform for such advice when it applies to risk and my students, hence I often feel I migrate into my mom persona when reminding them of dangers before they head off for weekends or holidays. They are emergency management students and of all people I expect them to make smart risk management choices. Alas, they are, on the whole, still fairly young. Having been young before (many, many moons ago), I realize that young folks sometimes do not listen to their elders and do risky things. Knowing this just makes me want to emphasize things more, so it is safe to say that I am at least a bit annoying on this front in my students’ eyes.
I have been harping fairly regularly lately to my students about the dangers of this brutal cold, particularly cautioning them when they go out with friends on the weekend. As such, the news of the University of Minnesota Duluth sophomore, Alyssa Lommel, who darn near froze to death after spending more than nine hours in subzero weather early Saturday morning outside on steps at a home next to hers. She was dropped of at her house by some friends after a purported night of drinking and they left before they made sure she made it safely inside. She is lucky to be alive. She is being treated for severe frostbite and hypothermia. According to first responders, one of her hands had swollen to three times its size and cracked from the severe cold. She is now on a ventilator and will be receiving skin grafts and other surgery to try and repair the damage that occurred.
This is exactly the thing I fear for students in this region when they are out and about on weekends. Thankfully, I have my last regular class with my students tomorrow and will be able to print off the article about Alyssa and share it with them. They may not be so keen on my advice, but Alyssa’s experience should speak to them.
Day one thousand two hundred and fifty-seven of the new forty – obla di obla da