Ann Maria Bell
High School Flashback
January 20, 2004

The Discontent of My Winter:
The Pathos of Human Existence and
Seasonal Weather Patterns in the Midwestern United States


Not only does the weather in Madison, Wisconsin fail to promote human happiness, it is malicious and spiteful as well.


  1. Recurring and persistent weather trends in Madison, WI that contribute directly to human misery, ie. to mine.
    1. Lack of snow
      1. Third winter in a row with a precipitation deficit
        1. Limited opportunities for winter sports
        2. Frozen ground and dirty patches of snow are ugly
      2. Abundance of snow in other parts of country/world
        1. Much higher than average snowfall on the east coast of the United States for the past two winters
        2. 12 inches of snow in Jerusalem last winter
    2. Excess of cold
      1. Further limits opportunities for winter sports
        1. Makes you fat
      2. Increases appetite
        1. Makes you fat
      3. Clothing necessitated by excess cold resembles that worn by South Park characters
        1. Makes you look even fatter than you really are which in Wisconsin is really saying something
      4. Frostbite and hypothermia do not "build character" no matter what my mother says.
    3. Lack of sun
      1. Gray
        1. Gray
        2. Gray
        3. Gray
      2. Depressing
        1. I'd throw myself into the lake if I could find a hole in the ice that was big enough
  2. Recent weather events that have occurred for the specific purpose of making me miserable
    1. Ice skating conditions on Lake Mendota
      1. The temperature in Madison dropped relatively slowly this year and the lake still hadn't frozen completely when I got back here on the 8th. After a week or so of bitterly cold "character building" weather the ice was solid and I walked out from the Memorial Union to discover the most amazingly smooth expanse of black ice I had ever seen. The next day Bill & I grabbed our skates and headed onto the lake. It was truly awesome, the best skating conditions I've ever seen outdoors. We could have skated for miles, out to Picnic Point or even all the way across the lake, with a little clambering over rough patches. I couldn't wait to go back out.
      2. Within 12 hours 1/2 inch of icy drizzle had fallen, the only precipitation in Madison since we got back, completely ruining the surface of the ice.
    2. Deceptive return of the sun on January 18, 2004
      1. The skies in Madison, Wisconsin were completely gray and featureless, casting a weak dirty featureless light on the barren snowless dirt for four soul crushing days in a row from January 14 - 17. Late on the 17th, with the temperature hovering near 30 and a slight misty fog hanging in the air the stars came out over head. The next morning the sun was shining brightly and the sky was crystal blue. I was so happy to see the sun again that I jumped out of bed and told Bill that I was going outside to play.
      2. Then I checked the weather.
        1. 4 F
        2. winds 12 mph out of the NW.
        3. -11 F wind chill factor
  3. Discussion and conclusions
    1. Several locations in the United States and around the world have weather which is preferable to the weather in Madison, Wisconsin.
      1. Santa Cruz, California
      2. Sydney, Australia
        1. currently summer in Australia
      3. Juneau, Alaska
        1. currently 32 degrees warmer in Juneau than in Madison
    2. Transporting my body to one of these locations would likely result in my experiencing weather which is more conducive to human happiness as well as less spiteful and malicious than the weather that I am currently experiencing in Madison, Wisconsin.