Lucas Chiang, Summer Times Staff Writer

Mother Nature showed no mercy last week, hitting us with a devastating heat wave and immediately following up with a rainstorm.

First came the heat, with the entire east coast being hit by the large heat wave that had swept over most of the US over the course of last week. With temperatures on Saturday and Sunday hitting as high as 95 °F (35 °C), Exeter soon turned into a giant microwave, trapping everyone inside in a colossal storm of heat.

Exeter Summer students, desperate to keep cool, were forced to adapt, many abandoning their dorm rooms for air-conditioned spaces such as the library or Academy Center. In addition to the AC, an added bonus of the Academy Center was the Grill, which held a copious supply of ice-cold drinks “I just went to the Grill and got some cold water,” said Erfan Wang, when asked how he was able to cool down in the hot weather. For the students that stayed inside of their dorms, electric fans were a necessity, as many of the older buildings were essentially the equivalent of brick pizza ovens in the heat.

So was everybody affected by this heat? One would think that those hailing from hotter regions would be used to the weather, right? “No,” said Daniel Zhang, coming from Fort Myers, Florida. “In Florida, we have AC. The outside is the same temperature or even higher. If you went out the heat would be killing you. But in Florida, everywhere has AC. Here I have a single fan.” Richard Liong shares this sentiment. “We have air conditioning everywhere,” he said, referring to his home country of Indonesia. “It’s probably the same temperature there.”

While it most would not advise to stay inside of their dorms, this is even more so for those on the higher floors. “I noticed that when climbing stairs, it gradually gets warmer,” said an anonymous student, who lives on the third floor of Ewald dorm. This is due to the way that heat rises, as a lot of the heat from the lower floors will end up at the top. With the additional factor of trees being able to provide shade for the lower floors, the higher up your room is, the hotter it will be. 

Here’s a question: should students have AC in their dorms? “Absolutely yes.” said Eren Erenal. “It’s burning hot in my room. The fans are not enough, because they’re blowing hot air. We need cold air.” Obviously, this is a very popular opinion. “Definitely yeah,” another anonymous student agreed. “It’s hot.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we students will have access to AC anytime soon. Why? Well, in addition to other reasons, not the least of which is the financial issue, the buildings themselves may have something to do with it. “It’s my impression,” said Ms. Josef, a teacher and advisor for Front Street dorm, “that the buildings are very old and they are not set up for air conditioning.”

Thankfully for us, though, the heat cooled down by Monday, as temperatures dropped significantly. However, our troubles were far from over as down came the rain, constantly pouring onto the streets. While the temperatures became relatively comfortable, both Monday and Tuesday gave the campus a more melancholy tone as the rain fell from the storm gray clouds.

Heat and rain are two different beasts, and therefore, students had to adapt once again to the severe weather. Temperatures hovered around 65 °F (18 °C), which ultimately meant that the measures students had taken earlier to keep cool would be replaced. Out went the tank tops and athletic shorts, and in came sweatshirts and rain coats. During the colder times in the morning, hot coffee would sometimes be chosen over its popular iced variant. While people would still head over to the Grill and library, it would now be less so for the AC and more so for the protection from the rain.

Luckily for us, the rest of the week is supposed to clear up, the sun shining and giving us temperatures around 85 °F (29 °C). Unfortunately, thunderstorms will most likely be clouding up the end of our summers, starting next Wednesday and remaining well after the last few days of Exeter Summer.