(Copyright 2000. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

August 28, 2000

Hallway hazards: zombies and love bugs

By Sarah Jordan

The Tattoo

Have you ever been in a school hallway between classes?
Sure, you know what hallways look like, but you havenít
tried to tackle ours.

Our hallways are the same cinder-block things you find at
most schools. Between periods, they can become rivers of
people. As a freshman, as anyone but a teacher, no one will
move for you.

These people arenít aware of anything but where they have
to go and how to get there. They will brush you, bump you,
push you, and might even trample you. No, itís not that
high-school stu-dents have no regard for each other, itís a
technique for academic survival.

We can all become zombies at will when we are in the hall,
it lets us get where we have to go.  If we really stopped to
think about what weíre doing, to whom, and why, while we
try to get to this class or that, weíd never even make it to
first period.

In a hall full of zombies, all walking one way or another, it
can be very easy to get turned around, go down the wrong
hall, or even to find yourself beached against a wall or
doorway. The odds are you will at some point be going one
way when you meant to go another. Until you learn the halls,
you have no choice but to stay to the right and just keep
going. To avoid this you can try to figure out where you are
and where youíre going before you leave class.

If you can, memorize your routes. Stay away from the walls
at corners, you might ram someone. If youíre going up a
staircase and people are coming down one side already, go to
the other side. There are slow spots, but if you keep going
youíll get through.

Aside from people who are actually moving, there are always
some who just stand. They stand in even the most crowded
halls, for reasons commonly known only to them. Rings of
people  sprout from the lockers into the fray.

Usually, there is just little enough space between them to
keep others from walking through the group.  They can be
classes waiting for teachers, cliques deciding on whoís out,
or just people who donít want to be where they ought.

Then there are those times when the reason for standing still
is easy to see. These people are the ever-present kissing
couples. They prefer less traveled corners, but still show up
in main hall-ways.

If you arenít careful of where your going, youíll probably
wind up bowling into them as you turn a corner.

From my experience at Bristol Eastern High School, the love
bugs are particularly fond of the two ends of the English hall.
Of course, they are much less fond of the hall than each
other, so you can find them anywhere.

Then there are the floors. It is easy to find on any given day
a number of wet, slimy, or other-wise off spots to slip and
slide on. Fortunately, BEHS doesnít wax its floors as often
as, say, Chippens Hill Middle School, so these arenít quite
as dangerous.

Mud is safe to walk through and often unavoidable on the
way into school in the rain. Watch out for chunks of apple
and spilled lunches near the cafeteria.

Soft drinks or Gatorade will leave you sticking to the floor
for the rest of the day. These are often on the stairs, so it can
pay to be vigilant.

I try to stay away from yellow liquids in particular and
potential body fluids in general. The general principle is to
go around spills if you can; if you canít, get as little on you
as possible.

There are surely things Iíve missed or forgotten. You can
find them, and figure them out. In life as in hallways,
common sense will work ... usually.