December 16, 2005
(Columbus, OH) Information systems major Brad Ponchartrain stepped out into a cold December breeze and watched the last of his fellow dorm neighbors drive home for the holidays.
"I was hoping at least a few of them would stick around," he said, kicking a small clump of rock salt. "I thought we could all hang out and play Final Fantasy 4 until the spring term started."
The OSU sophomore is among thousands of college students who will not be going home for Christmas. Ponchartrain said that he "understands," but wishes a few people would stay behind and keep him company.
"We could design web templates or something," he said. "I mean, it's not like going to Mardi Gras, but there are worse ways to spend vacation."
Ponchartrain's parents hoped that he "had a great vacation," but could not fit Brad into their vacation plans.
"Well, we...um...just can't afford the ticket this year," said Cheryl Ponchartrain, hiding a Maui brochure under her coat. "And Bradley always, well, mopes around all the time. Besides, I am sure that he'll be happier up there; at least his Internet connection stays on between semesters."