Three unique tales of snow show students’ resilience


Photo courtesy of Elijah Eisenberg

The snow made it hard for people to get home, due to it being such a surprise. Buses were canceled and the icy roads also led to traffic. Luckily, the school allowed for students to take refuge inside the building until they could safely get home, leading to unique and possibly stressful experiences. 

Sophomore Elijah Eisenberg calls Feb.23 the “Snowpocalypse of 2023.” That day, Eisenberg had a field trip with the theater program to see a play at Portland Center Stage. While on the train back, it began to snow. 

“We were all surprised by the snow, but we didn’t realize how much it was sticking,” Eisenberg remarked. “When we got off the train, the snow was stacking up and it wasn’t slowing down!” 

When he got back to school from the field trip, he was given the opportunity to go home or to stay at school. Eisenberg decided to stay at school. 

“I made the wrong choice,” he realized, if a little too late.

When the final bell rang, Eisenberg was amazed to see the roads completely covered in snow and that traffic was horribly backed up. 

Because of this, he opted to take the bus instead of biking back to his house. But as he waited for the bus, he grew tired of waiting.

“After around ten minutes I got tired of waiting and decided to see if someone could give me a ride,” he said.  “Eventually, I saw the bus and had some people hold my bike as I went down to the bottom of the hill where the bus was to see what the situation was. The bus was stuck in a hole.” 

The buses didn’t have chains, which is crucial for snow travel in a vehicle, especially one of that size. 

Eisenberg relaid the information to the others at his bus stop, concluding that the best course of action was trying to get lucky catching the 24 bus. On his way, Eisenberg took shelter in a Popeyes restaurant to stay warm.

“After a while, I figured it would be just as fast to just walk to Prescott and take the bus from there,” he explained.

So he hauled his bike through the snow storm.

“As I was walking, I saw about three or four other buses that were either stuck in the snow or in traffic. Cars could barely move anywhere. My legs hurt as I trudged through the snow with my bike. I started to regret my choices,” Eisenberg stated. 

Eisenberg’s misfortunes were not ending; his phone died so he had no means of communication with his mom. 

“This made me even more nervous. I seriously considered asking for shelter in someone’s house,” he said. 

When Eisenberg got to a bus stop, a passerby told him the bus was probably not going to come. The man let Eisenberg use his phone so he could get in contact with his parents.

Eisenberg decided to walk home, but he was miserable. 

“My shoes had snow in them. My gloves were wet and weren’t keeping my hands warm anymore. I was shivering and trudging through about two feet of snow with my bike. I just wanted to get home.” 

Though he regretted not waiting for his friend’s dad to pick him up, there was no turning back.

“When I got to 72nd, I was able to ride my bike a little, which was a huge relief,” he said. 

When Eisenberg got to his street, he was able to bike the rest of the way, only slipping once. Eisenberg came home to his relieved mother at 5:22 p.m.  

“Bottom line is, no one was prepared for this,” he said. “I think PPS and TriMet should’ve seen the signs of heavy snow earlier, and things would’ve been a lot easier for a lot of people.” 

Sophomore Sock Stansfield was in his US history class when the snow started piling up. 

Stansfield left school early to play in the snow with junior Ciara Frasgoso Tovar.

“My last class was history, and my teacher would not let anyone leave class, so I just snuck out,” he said. 

Stansfield normally takes the 72 bus, but because it wasn’t running, he decided to take the long walk home with Frasgoso Tovar.

Once he got to Frasgoso Tovar’s house, he stayed with them for a bit to keep warm before continuing his hike home. He arrived at 7:30 p.m.

Stansfield is upset about the way PPS handled the snow.

“I think that PPS handled it very sh*tty,” he said, “because as soon as they noticed we were getting snowed-in they should have sent kids home but not kicked us out! Just end school early but provide a space to get warm.” 

However, Stansfield is thankful to the TriMet driver that let him and Frasgoso take shelter in the bus, even though it was stuck in the snow. 

Sophomore Breanna Cressy was in her US history class as well when the snow started to stack up outside. She waited until the bell rang to head out because she didn’t know if she could leave. 

“If I knew I could leave, I would have,” she said. 

When it was time to go home, she just stood at the school doors realizing there was no way she could get home. Cressy takes the 72 bus home, but to her and many other students’ dread, the bus stopped driving.

Cressy stayed at the school until 5:00 p.m. She didn’t mind staying late; she enjoyed it saying, “It was nice spacing out and staring at the snow.” 

Eventually she took the 22 bus, which isn’t the normal bus that she takes home. That bus ride took six hours. At 11:30 p.m., her parents picked her up at the 82nd MAX station. 

“If I didn’t get picked up by my parents, it probably would have taken another three hours to get home because the first bus I was on got stuck in the snow.” Cressy states.

The school in the snow. Many students were stuck as buses halted. (Photo courtesy of Elijah Eisenberg)

Despite this delay, Cressy is not bitter at PPS or TriMet. 

“When I was staying at school, they gave me snacks. It was great!” she said.

She’s happy she was provided a safe place like McDaniel to stay warm and is especially thankful to the staff, like principal Adam Skyles, who stayed to help students. 

“It kind of came out of nowhere and my specific bus driver handled it well. They were very helpful,” she said.

  Next time it snows this much during school, Cressy hopes that the school makes it clearer that students could leave early. Some students got to leave during fourth period because their parents called in, but most, like Cressy, didn’t know it was even an option. She is hoping to never have to experience that again.

In the end it was an unexpected nightmare for those who took the bus home. Everyone had a distinctive experience.