The seven friends had two quizzes to study for. They had a textbook about physiology to read.
But with a blanket of snow covering the campus Wednesday and classes canceled, the Georgia Regents University students went to school for something more fun.
Near the amphitheater on the Summerville campus, they molded piles of snow into a snowman with a carrot for a nose and a stick as a cigar.
They slid sunglasses onto his face and stuck a flask into his belly of snow.
“The flask was full but might not be anymore,” said Jennifer Tenorio, 31.
The thought of a day filled with snow angels, snowmen and snowball fights awoke a city full of schoolchildren and college students as early as 5 a.m.
The anticipation of playing in 2 inches of snow had been growing for Olivia Franklin, an 11-year-old student from C.T. Walker Magnet School, since 9 p.m. Tuesday, when she stepped outside her National Hills home to see the first snow flakes fall.
“This is very rare and super cool,” she said. “It looks so pretty to see it fall behind the glow of the streetlights.”
Franklin’s mother, Rebecca, said her daughter and two 7-year-old sons, Broxton and Spencer, were all born in Augusta and last remember snow four years ago when they saw a few flakes fall as they returned from Boone, N.C., for a winter wonderland experience. They stayed up all night, eager to play, she said of her children.
“I want more snow,” Broxton said as he chucked a snowball at his friend Dustin Rhodes, 11, also a C.T. Walker student.
“Waist-deep,” Rhodes said. “That’s what I want.”
At GRU, Tenorio and her friends tied metal chains to laundry basket handles and took turns pulling each other around until someone fell out.
They normally would be in class or working in the simulation lab on a Wednesday afternoon, so the friends were grateful for the break.
“lt’s a nice change from studying,” said Steven Warner, 25.
When they were ready to leave, the snowman went, too, putting him into the bed of a Chevrolet 4x4.
In the empty field behind the Newman Tennis courts, two football players made the best of their day off from Augusta Preparatory Day School. Kevin Huggins and Mac McCall tied an orange kayak to the hitch on Huggins’ Jeep Wrangler and made doughnuts in the snow.
With McCall in the kayak, Huggins guessed he might have reached up to 30 mph.
“It’s just awesome to have a snow day and not be in school,” McCall said. “It’s like having a weekend right in the middle of the week, but more fun.”