The buzzing of the alarm clock suddenly stops and, to my surprise, I am awakened not by the noise but by the silence, rudely jerked from my sleep. Six forty-five, the numbers read. I pull my comforter tighter under my chin and close my eyes, fully intending to get up in a few minutes. I’m sure I’ll wake back up in a few minutes, but not yet. I can’t do it yet.
“Lolo!” someone’s whispering to me, in my dreams I’m sure. “Lolo, get up! Aren’t you coming?” Coming where? One instant of confusion. Only one blissful instant, and then it all makes sense. It’s Saturday.
“Yeah, I’m coming.” The listlessness of my voice surprise me. I groan and fold the thick layers of blankets off of me. The frigid December air pounces. As I watch, thousands of tiny bumps germinate on my arms, and the fine hairs stand alarmingly straight. After getting out of bed and pulling on my bathing suit, I eagerly throw my winter coat around my arms and shoulders. I debate crawling back in my bed. No one said I had to do it.
I look at my cabinmates, and I push that thought from my mind. Although Lucy and Tuna stay nestled in their beds, Cara is pulling a fully dressed, and Sarah is duct-taping a pair of flip-flops on her bare feet. Shoes. I had almost forgotten. I open the door, and look down at out tiny porch. My tennis shoes are indeed there, frozen solid. I force the unyielding layers of ice around my feet, wincing. The laces crunch, and small crystals of ice fall gently to the floor as I tie a bow on each shoe. Everyone is ready. It’s time to go.
I wrap my arm through Constanza’s as we step off the last wooden step from the cabin. The air isn’t so bad out here—probably a few degrees above zero. My feet begin to tingle and then to burn. We trudge through the snow as quickly as possible, and I’m sure my excitement is visible on my face.
Soon, we can see the water of the Sheepscot River, stained with thin sheets of ice. Most people would say we’re out of our minds. My friends back in Atlanta will call me crazy. I grin. Squeezing Constanza’s hand on one side and Emily’s on the other, I stumble through the mud left by the receding tide.
“One, two, three!” We count together and sprint into the icy water, diving under the surface just for an instant. As we clamber out of the water and toward our chilled towels, our semester-mates cheer wildly. The next threesome heads towards the water.
Later in the morning, the thirty-six students at Maine Coast Semester file into the dining hall for breakfast, about twenty of us dripping wet and beaming. Five of us sport shorts and sunglasses in a foolish attempt to defy the cold. I follow my friends to a table where a large book stands open, and sign my name under the heading “Polar Bears: December 7.” As I sit eating my bagel, I catch the eye of a wet-headed polar bear across the room and we smile together.
文章的第一段就以闹铃的震响后一系列行为反应的描写将读者带入清早挣扎起床的画面，其中“jerk from”这个词直观的体现了睡梦中被惊醒的状态，容易使招生官产生共鸣并莞尔一笑。内容进行到第二段，从打闹铃、耳语叫唤到“It all makes sense. It’s Saturday”，第一个鱼饵被抛出，周末早起为什么会合乎常理，读者已经被这不合常理的说法所牵引；再到第三段大冬天一大早穿上泳衣以及内心对接下来要做的事的挣扎是文章抛出的第二个鱼饵。差不多三分之一篇幅都在描述当时的情景，却并未揭开面纱。看似繁琐冗长的描写却为下文做了有效的铺垫，直至最后三段，我们才明白冬令营的小伙伴们一起去挑战酷寒、体验冰水的刺激，而这一行为确实值得挣扎。
笔者采用侧面描述的方法绘出了严寒气候。其中 “thousands of tiny bumps germinate on my arms, and the fine hairs stand alarmingly straight” 对于离开被窝之后的汗毛直立、鸡皮疙瘩起一身夸张却不失实，“frozen solid”、“the laces crunch, and small crystals of ice fall”,对于置于门口的运动鞋结冰的现象也淋漓尽致地体现了室外温度低的事实，即便是身在热带的阳光下，读者也可以从字眼中感受到寒冷包裹，瞬间凉爽下来。
气候描写之外，文章通过笔者的神情和行为变化层层推进了心理和精神上的收获。“The listlessness of my voice”、“I debate crawling back in my bed”、“I’m sure my excitement is visible on my face”、“cheer wildly”、“beaming”、“smile”，不难看出笔者的心理从开始的不积极到最后的自豪感爆棚的变化，这是通过点滴挑战逐渐积累而成。离开温暖的被窝——穿上冰凉的鞋子——穿越厚厚的雪地——跳入寒冷的溪水，每一步都比前一步更难但也并非不可挑战。