THE BLOG

Driver's Ed for the High School Hallway Pedestrian

09/28/2012 08:56 am ET | Updated Nov 28, 2012

We all know the feeling. The bell has just rung, signaling the mad five to 10-minute dash to the next class, and what should be a three-minute stroll to Biology class -- located just a few hallways down -- turns into the next installment of Indiana Jones. Okay, so maybe there's an ardent lack of death traps, snakes, and aliens, but I digress.

The point is, there is a stunning lack of common courtesy in the school hallways, and frankly, navigating hallways can often be downright intimidating and even dangerous for the unobservant pedestrian.

If students can abide by the rules of the real road in order to get their permits and licenses, they ought to be able to abide by the tacit "rules of the road" in the halls of high schools across the country. So here are three ways that everyone -- seniors, even you can take a thing or two from this -- can make the transition between classes more like a drive along the coast instead of a backup on I-95 during rush-hour.

1. Don't Cross The (Invisible) Yellow Line

Okay, so painting actual yellow lines on the floors of school hallways would probably draw the ire of the administration -- not to mention the custodial staff -- but doesn't it make sense? After all, in the real world, the yellow line is there for a reason: to prevent head-on collisions. I cannot tell you how many times I have been walking up the right side of the stairs only to come face-to-face with someone walking down the stairs. Even better, I have often found myself walking up the middle of the stairs with people pushing and shoving making their way down on both sides of me; that's just ridiculous.

2. There Is A Speed Limit

In the real world, there is nothing more frustrating than driving in the left lane on the highway where the speed limit is somewhere around 85 mph and having to drive 65 mph instead because the driver instead of you refuses to just move over to next lane. The same frustration is felt in the halls. For some reason, some people just love to walk as slow as possible when there is plenty of room to move faster. Furthermore, these people also seem to travel in herds as they often walk in a line with their friends who mirror their walking speed, thus creating a nearly impenetrable line. What's even better is when these people abruptly stop and then give you a dirty look -- or in my experience, throw a curse word or two at you -- when you slightly bump them even though it was their fault. If you're not going to speed up, move over to the side and let the rest of us pass.

3. Talking And Standing -- It Can Wait

This has to be my number-one pet peeve about walking in the school halls: those people who think that they own the halls in between classes and choose to hug, high-five, and huddle while everyone else is trying to get to class. It's not surprising that these people are often the last or late ones to class, but what is surprising is just how selective some of these people's hearing is. While they are all ears for the juiciest drama or after-school plans, they are absolutely deaf when you throw a polite "excuse me" their way. What's more, these people love to congregate in the most inconvenient spaces, such as the middle of the staircase and under the frames of doors. Would it be that hard to simply move to the side of the wall? It would appear so.

Okay, so I admit, what I want in between my class changes is a lot to ask for. It's utopian, and the reality is that the vast majority of people really don't care how inconsiderate they are. However, if everyone could at least be consciously aware of their surroundings in high school, wouldn't getting to class be a whole lot easier and more stress-free? Just try and remember that the person you made late to class today isn't going to let you merge into their lane tomorrow.