Brown Traditions: Snowy days and Ratty trays

Winter was easy to love when it meant quad snowball fights and sliding down College Hill on improvised sleds.

Back before shoveling and snow blowing, before sidewalk salt, before windshield defrosters and antifreeze, before a pile of slush flooding your apartment floor, before having to excavate the couch cushions for missing mittens, before slippery roads and leaking roofs, before high heating bills and the smell of wet wool choking the room—back before all this, there was a different kind of snow.

Remember when it snowed on College Hill?

At the first flake, Brown students seem to grow a strong mischievous streak. Some of us simply let the book fall from our lap and ran outside coatless, even shoeless. Some of us headed straight to the Ratty—and not for its exquisite fare. Snow days meant turning Ratty cafeteria trays into makeshift sleds and riding them down Simmons Quad. Now students are using Twitter to coordinate midnight snowball fights on Wriston.