As a Los Angeles native, I’m used to sunny days and warm weather. Rain is a rarity for me, snow a pipe dream. For the first 18 years of my life, I didn’t own a winter jacket, boots, or gloves. So naturally, I feel right at home here in Baltimore.
Despite the fact that it should be the middle of winter right now, these past few days have been as pleasant as any I’ve experienced back home. Take today, a 70 degrees cloud-free stunner, with a light breeze that rustled the branches of the still-denuded trees.
One thing became clear throughout the day; when the sun comes out, so do the Hopkins students. Campus bustled with activity; students crowded the beach as music blared in the background. Frisbees flew and footballs spiraled, hammocks were hung and tank-tops were donned. People roamed the quads and walkways, looking for any excuse to stay outdoors.
Simply put, it was spring in February.
As I walked around in the untimely warmth earlier today, two thoughts struck me.
“Wow, this is awesome.”
And it really was. The weather lifted my spirits, along with those of everybody around me, and made the stress and worry of a busy second semester fade away. My attitude improved dramatically – I felt great.
“This seems wrong though.”
And it really did. It’s supposed to be winter – especially here on the East Coast, where there actually is winter. The average daily temperature for Baltimore at this time of year ranges from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Today, it was 72 by noon. Although it was sunny and warm outside, the birds didn’t sing, and the flowers didn’t bloom. There were no leaves on the trees or bees in the air. Everything seemed artificial – it wasn’t supposed to be Spring. The early onset of Spring is a clear warning sign of global warming – and today I experienced it first hand.
While this last thought sunk in, it reminded me why I study what I study – Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (GECS). The GECS program provides students with the scientific background of climate change – touching on philosophy and culture along the way – and provides them with practical knowledge of related policies and sustainable practices. The professors are experts in their fields, and are truly passionate about their subject matter. Unlike with most majors, that passion extends to the students, who are truly invested in what they learn. There is an air of devotion and purpose in the classroom, which, when combined with (in my opinion) truly fascinating subject matter, creates a one-of-a-kind equational experience. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love my major, and as today’s weather reconfirmed, believe that its more important than ever.