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Avoid Busting A**: A guide to non-slipping success on an icy campus

As winter rages onward and all of us question the ever-trustworthy rodent who this year predicted an early spring, snow continues to blanket our fair city in ridiculous quantities. Because Wisconsin has decided to make up for the past three years of snowlessness by dumping it all on us at once, Almanac has decided to share some of its collective, snow-proof wisdom with its loyal readers:

Tip #1: Wear shoes with traction! When you slip, it isn’t just because you’re a clumsy idiot, it’s because your feet don’t have any traction on the snow and/or ice. Wear some shoes with textured soles, nice warm socks, and consider purchasing snow cleats if you want some extra safety points. Nobody likes a bruised tailbone.

Tip #2: Waddle like a penguin! Walk with stiff legs and slap the ball of your feet against the ground, pressing down and dragging backward slightly to gain traction beneath your foot before taking another step. If walking on solid ice, walk carefully on the balls of your feet and try to slowly waddle. Coming down on your heels too quickly will cause your feet to fly out from under you.

Tip #3: Walk on the snow! When faced with ice or snow, opt for the snow as it will be less smooth than the ice. If the snow is frozen solid and it seems you’re shit outta luck, refer to Tip #2.

Tip #4: Avoid smooth surfaces! Anything painted (lines in the crosswalk, painted curbs) is a deathtrap in slippery conditions like these. In addition, manhole covers, metal grates, and the tiles in front of the Chazen are a one-way ticket to Sore Ass and Scraped Hands Land.

Tip #5: Shovel your sidewalk! Unless you have a property manager who does it for you or are unable to do it yourself (and no, not just because you’re a lazy shit), shovel your fucking sidewalk. Unshoveled sidewalks build layers of snow and ice, creating hell for pedestrians. Shovel. Your. Sidewalk. If you can’t shovel your whole sidewalk, at least shovel a tiny walking path for anyone traversing your sidewalk. There’s a good chance it takes less time than you think and will burn twice the calories of any Cyc class, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you did the world a favor. Go you!

Tip #6: Sidewalk etiquette! Sidewalks inadvertently become much narrower this time of year, making it difficult to navigate in crowds. Walk single-file, not with your gaggle of blissfully unaware friends, and continue conversations when they don’t congest pathways and cause obstructions instead of stopping in the middle of everything and assuming everyone will go around you. It’s rude, selfish, and makes you and your conversation partners look like contemptible idiots. 

Tip #7: We all fall! If you see someone take a nasty fall nearby, help them up. If someone else helped them up, push them over and help them up again so you can take the credit. Just kidding, but really. Falling sucks, and if a simple gesture can help alleviate the suckiness and costs you nothing, consider helping your fellow ice-navigators out.

Winter sucks, we know. Here at Almanac, we hope you stay safe during this icy bullshit!

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