Step it up, people

By Derek Schlom

I check the time on my phone — it’s 10:29 a.m. My daily treacherous trek from our campus’ geographic equivalent of Death Valley, Weiler Hall, to my AP Comparative Government class at the altitude sickness-inducing height of Seaver’s third floor is nearly complete in the nick of time, and my calves are throbbing (not in a good way).

I push through the glass double-doors, sharply turn left and begin my final ascent, but I’m halted by gridlock. No one is walking. In my rage-induced delusion, I see a tortoise pushing his/her way through the crowd, and I want nothing more than to hitch a ride on that glorious shell.

This is a problem that I have faced all too often: hallways, doorways, passageways and stairways are blocked by sluggish loiterers during the passing period between classes. This should not be a time to linger! For those five minutes, your primary goal in life should not be to gain admission to Princeton or to break the world record for consecutive pogo-stick jumps (currently a rather impressive 177,737, FYI) — it should be to get to your next class as expeditiously as humanly possible.

I’m not encouraging anarchy; a “Running of the Bulls”-type situation might result in a twisted ankle or two. I’m just asking, on my figurative knees, for a little haste, a little urgency, for a total of 35 minutes each day.

All jokes aside, the tardy policy is too strict not to be taken seriously. Six tardies add up to one detention, and six detentions is grounds for a suspension and the unceremonious end of my dreams of college, wealth, happiness and owning the biggest gumball machine EVER.

There is no such thing as being “fashionably late” to class, unless you think that it’s fashionable to ruin other people’s lives and deprive them of self-flushing toilets and a fleet of genetically-modified monkeys designed to greet guests with hugs. Hypothetically.

All I’m asking for is a little help as I try to avoid a future of panhandling and dumpster-diving (involuntarily, that is — all power to ya, Kim Abeles).

So next time you feel like halting traffic when the pressing urge to recap the causes and effects of each of Dan and Serena’s break-ups comes over you, listen closely for my breath, deep and increasing in speed with each second of mindless chatter, over your shoulder. Good deterrent, right?