Surviving the Hallway

January 18, 2010
By KatieObeso SILVER, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
KatieObeso SILVER, Hoffman Estates, Illinois
5 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Rinnnngggggggg. Throughout the seven hour and fifteen minute school day, there are thirty-five minutes that are often overlooked. Between each class, students have five minutes to make a mad dash from one classroom to another. Careful skill and planning go into moving through the hallways during these passing periods. It is especially difficult for those who are vertically challenged, like Lindsay, a five foot two junior. With students in the halls towering over her, Lindsay has created her own strategy. She has mastered the halls with her two basic steps, mental preparation and then physical enactment of her plan.
The first step is planning. Sitting in her 3rd period physics class, half listening to her teacher explain Newton’s First Law of Physics for the tenth time, Lindsay’s mind wanders to the next five minutes. When the bell rings she needs to be ready. Her physics class is across from the library which makes getting out tricky because the kids from the library run out like a herd of crazed cattle. They fill up the entire hall, instead of staying to the right like any civilized person would do. Lindsay has two options for making it down the hall; the first, to walk on the left side of the hall, shoulder pushed against the lockers getting dirty looks the whole way, or second, just run through the crowd to the right side, smashing into people and getting dirty looks from all of them. It was pretty much a lose-lose situation. Either way she knew she was bound to get bounced around a little which was just plain annoying. Why couldn’t people just move out of the way when they saw her coming, instead of plowing over her? Lindsay usually goes with the somewhat safer choice of staying to the left, but she had just gotten her lab quiz back with a perfect score, so she was feeling good. She decided she was going to go for it and crash her way through to the other side of the hall. Once she gets out of that hallway it isn’t over, her next class is math which means she has to get upstairs and fast because Lindsay remembers she has to meet her friend Annie to go over plans for the weekend. Rinnnnnggggggg.
Now for step two, enactment of the plan. The bell rings and Lindsay, in a mad rush, scoops up her purse and books and heads for the door. One step out and crash, she’s tossed to the side as two senior girls with their bleach blonde hair and bright orange skin walk past,
way too cool to even look and see who they just plowed over. Just keep walking, she can’t let them see her hesitate, because once one person crashes into you it somehow makes it okay for everyone else to follow trend. It was too late. A crowd of football players were coming past and she was trapped in the middle of the hallway. Lindsay was trapped in the middle of a green jersey forest bouncing off of them like a pin-ball, but finally she was out. Just keep walking, crash, crash. This time it was Lindsay doing the smashing. Two little freshmen boys bounced off her as she cut right between them. There were the dirty looks she knew were coming, they turned back and glared at her as she laughed to herself thinking how great it was to be taller than someone in the hallway. With that she made it to the other side.
It was usually smooth sailing form here. Lindsay went up the auditorium staircase which was empty as usual and over to the anorexic hallway where her friend Annie was waiting. She made it to Annie problem free and noticed a big bloody scratch on her friend’s arm. “Look what happened,” Annie yelled out. She went on to explain how as she walked out of her APUSH class, a girl carrying a huge plastic pink binder, over flowing with papers ran into her. The sharp corner of the binder sliced Annie’s arm, but as it hit her the binder slid out of the girl’s grasp and her papers flew everywhere. That made Annie feel a little better, but she was still upset she now had a gash across her arm. Annie’s story took up the time they had planned to go over the weekend plans, so they decided to meet up after school and said good-bye. Lindsay turned away from Annie’s locker, not paying attention to where she was going. As she turned her face, it smashed right into the armpit of a kid in her Spanish class. She made the mistake of inhaling and was overwhelmed with the sour stench of B.O., causing her to gag. Lindsay quickly composed herself and walked to the end of the hall towards her math class.
Almost there, she was steps away from her classroom when she heard screaming down the hall. The hallway had pretty much cleared out since the bell was soon to ring, except for the hall monitor, who was doing the screaming, and two boys. One boy with long, curly, blonde hair threw down his books and the other boy, tan, with dark brown hair, took this as a threat and started shoving him. They circled each other, shoving and yelling. The hall monitor continued screaming for them to stop. More people starting coming out of their classes after hearing all the commotion and crowded around the boys, but at enough of a distance as not to get caught up in their fighting. Soon a teacher came out broke up the fighting and walked one of the boys down to the office. Lindsay took her last few steps into her classroom just as the bell rang. Rinnnnggggggg.
During the seven, five minute passing periods of the school day, a lot of preparation and maneuvering is done in the midst of all the chaos. This is not an easy task and must be done in a skilled and organized fashion as Lindsay has shown. Lindsay manages daily to get from class to class on time despite her slight height impediment. She is ready to take on the hallways with her two steps, planning and putting the plan into action.

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