A Georgian Commuting in the Snow

By Edo Steinberg

A traffic jam in snowy Woodstock, GA (Photo by William Brawley).

A traffic jam in snowy Woodstock, GA (Photo by William Brawley).

You may have heard of the havoc one inch of snow wreaked in Atlanta this winter. Drivers who were unaccustomed to driving through the white powder slid into each other and abandoned their cars on highways. Many have mocked Atlantans for this, as well as the city’s lack of preparedness, but in a place where snow is rare, it is understandable that this would happen.

Glenna Read is from Atlanta. Before coming to Indiana, she didn’t have much experience of driving in the snow. This winter, she had to do just that quite a bit, because she has been commuting from Indianapolis every day.

“My boyfriend Ben got an internship in Kokomo, which is an hour and a half north of Indianapolis,” Glenna explains her decision to commute. “Bloomington is an hour south of Indianapolis. We decided to split the difference.”

The winter has not been kind to her. “It has been really bad. I missed three classes. One session of each of my three classes I’ve had to miss because of things like a truck that had wrecked and looked really scary in the snow.”

“I had to leave very early to prepare for the ice,” Glenna says. “I’m not used to it. I think I actually have a phobia about it. I was really surprised the first time I drove in the snow and I didn’t get into an accident or die. That has been a challenge.”

She has also had mechanical difficulties. “Because it’s so cold, the cars don’t work as well. My Honda’s battery has died. I borrowed a car from my dad. It has four-wheel drive, but has been overheating. It’s crazy to have two cars I can use but both have these issues.”

“I can’t be as social as I’d like to be,” Glenna describes one of the other downsides of commuting.

At least March is around the corner (photo by LadyDragonflyCC - >;<)

At least March is around the corner (photo by LadyDragonflyCC – >;<)

Glenna wanted to make sure the time she spent commuting didn’t end up being wasted. “I expected that I would record lectures and listen to them in the car, but I didn’t do that,” she says. “I listened to Game of Thrones audiobooks. It makes it so much easier. Time goes by so much faster when I listen to an interesting part.”

“Eight to ten hours a week in the car aren’t so bad,” Glenna says. “It’s time for my brain to zone out and think about nothing, or I talk to my family and friends in Atlanta.”

“I’m very glad my commute is going to be over next fall,” she says. Ben has gotten a job in Martinsville, and they will move to Bloomington.

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