Here is a list of things I wanted to get done last week:

-       Arrange a song for Route 9 (the a cappella group I direct)
-       Do some significant (really just some) thesis research
-       Write this blog post on time
None of those things happened. I blame it on the heat. It’s hot right now. Expected to hit 97 later today with boatloads of humidity. At night, we all sit in our dorm rooms in the dark sweating, fatigued from the heat but unable to sleep (also because of the heat). No, we do not have air conditioning in the dorms.
Here are some ways we’ve come up with for dealing with this X-treme weather in Amherst during the summer:
(1) Go to Puffer’s Pond

There’s a really nice “body of water” about 3 miles from Amherst. Buses or friends with cars can get you there within 5-10 minutes (depending on the traffic lights). All in all, it’s a pleasant enough spot to swim in, though when everyone gets the same idea as you (and they will), it gets pretty crowded. There’s also a nice ledge providing a significant leap into the water.

Rating: 8/10 cooling potential, 6/10 company, 10/10 hardcore jumping potential

(2) Read/Sit in an air conditioned coffee shop

Raos, Starbucks, Amherst Coffee, Black Sheep

There are around 4 coffee shops in Amherst (plus or minus one depending on your definition of coffee shop) and all of them are air conditioned. They range in loudness of people and background music, so some are better to read in than others. Of course, you’re pretty much bound by politeness to purchase something in order to use the space. They give you a sense of feeling productive, however, which is hard to come by in the summer.

Rating: 9/10 cooling potential (not 10/10 because coffee is hot and iced coffee is water), 8/10 productivity, 4/10 fun (unless with friends)
(3) Just sit there in your room, waiting to die of heatstroke 

Not much to say about this one. Sit in your room in as little clothing as possible (keeping in mind that the window is necessarily open) in front of a fan doing as little heat inducing activity as possible. If you can complain about the heat with a friend, all the better.

Rating: 1/10 cooling potential [+3 if you watch videos of snow], 3/10 fun, 0/10 actual chance of dying
Those are the three options I’ve found, though I’m sure there are more to be found. Actually, I can think of one more: going to the midnight showing of the Dark Knight Rises. Wooo!!