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February 26, 2024
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A Guide on How to do Things on Campus

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Yes, there is traffic protocol for walking in a hallway.

If you are reading this, there is a strong possibility that you are a student at UMB. If not there is a small chance that you are a student at a different school here in Massachusetts. There is a third possibility that you are not a student at any schools here, but that you are a human and you live in the U.S. If none of these are true and you are neither a human nor do you live in the U.S., you need not read any further, as this will not apply to you.

Dear students/people, when walking up a staircase it is customary to walk on the outsid (right) side of the staircase. An easy way to remember this is to think about driving a car. When you are driving you always drive on the right side of the street.

No matter which way you are going, up or down, if everyone always walks on the right side of the stairs there will be room for the people that are coming in the opposite direction. An even easier way to remember this is to think: right equals right, and left equals you are an idiot.

Now that you have the correct side of the staircase mastered it is time to talk about speed and footing. Speed is important because if affects the speed of everyone that is behind you. I know that it is a weird concept for us to think about the people who are behind us, mainly because they are not us.

I like the one-foot-at-a-time at an even and steady pace approach. It allows you to get where you are going and it also allows others to get where they are going as well. I promise you that if you walk up the stairs at a respectable pace on the correct side, everyone will have a slightly better day. I also promise you that if you think about other people even if for only a brief moment, it does not make you a communist.

You can still let the free market decide what kind of shoes you are walking up the stairs in. As for escalators, it is a bit easier. You can’t pick the wrong side to use because you will see one going up and one going down. If you want to go up, take the one that is moving in that direction. If you want to go down, you can do the same.

Once you are on the side that you want, it is important to know one simple rule. If you are going to just hang out and rest for a minute while the escalator does it’s job, stand to the right side. If you want to walk while you are riding so you can feel like you are walking at a superhuman pace, walk on the left side. Once again, if everyone follows these rules the ride will go much more smoothly and no one will be a commie.

How to enter/exit a classroom

This seems relatively easy right? Wrong, this is a delicate and complicated process. Ask anyone who is trying to get into/out of a class that has gone over their time by 30 seconds or more. There is always a traffic jam of humans.

This is troublesome because people have to get where they are going and nothing should stand in their way. Here is a simple technique that will help this once impossible-to-understand problem. If you are in the “waiting to enter” group, just stand away from the door and form a couple of lines that designate a clear path to the people who are leaving.

Then stand there and allow all of the people who wish to exit the room plenty of time and space. You should not try to enter the class while people are trying to leave. The idea that this will work goes against many laws of physics.

If you do not believe me, you can try this simple experiment. Pour yourself a bowl of cereal, preferably Rice Krispies®, mainly because they will help to prove the point better, but also because they are delicious. Make sure the bowl is full(to the top) of cereal, then begin to pour milk into the bowl at an increasing rate.

See what happened? The cereal was pushed out of the bowl and on to the floor. Now think of the people that are in the the class as the cereal and you are the milk. Much like pouring the milk into a full bowl if you try to enter before the “trying to leave group” has exited there will be a mess and you will be stepping on Rice Krispies® for days to come.

If you happen to be in a Physics class and this method of entering and leaving a room is not being practiced, you should change it to a pass/fail right away because you don’t want to mess up your G.P.A.

If you are in the “trying to leave” group, all you have to do is to leave the room in a timely manner. Since there is now plenty of room to leave and no one trying to walk in while you are trying to walk out there should be no problem. If you want to talk to the teacher after class for a minute or two, this is OK. Just remember that you now have to wait for all of the “trying to enter” group to get in the room before you leave. This method will save time, money and cereal. It also works on the train, bus, elevator and bathroom.