Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sidewalk etiquette waning

In this, my final semester at Miami, I've noticed an alarming trend: sidewalk etiquette is waning. Granted, it's possible that sidewalk etiquette here has been terrible for the entirety of my Miami career and it has simply escaped my attention until now, but I don't think this is the case.

As I walk to and fro--whether I'm on my way to class, to get food, or to get sleep--this plague of the pavement impedes my path perpetually! As I'm scooting around campus, I frequently see small groups of people, probably friends, who are all walking side-by-side along the sidewalk, unyielding to others--the Manifest Destiny of the pavement, perhaps. Of course, I am not one to deny others the right to be friendly or cordial by urging others to force their friends to walk behind or in front of them in a single-file line. Rather, I am urging others to walk behind or in front of their friends when there are others on the sidewalk who would like to get by without stepping off the pavement. Instead, these clusters of people plow forward as if one monolithic juggernaut, displacing all others in their path off the path. The call for these groups to allow the room for a single person to pass by without exiting the sidewalk would seem to be easy to accommodate.

But what if--perish the thought--two of these sidewalk syndicates come face to face, both vying for what they apparently see as their rightful place on the full breadth of the sidewalk? Would it play out as if a scene from West Side Story? Well, this need not happen. I propose a simple solution to this absolutely simple problem. I call it "proportional perambulation." Are you walking with a friend and you're encountering two other people walking together down the sidewalk? You and your friend get 1/2 of the sidewalk and the other group gets 1/2 of the sidewalk. Are there three of you and one of them? You get 3/4 of the sidewalk and the other individual gets 1/4. Are there five of you and two of them? Well, unless you're on a very wide sidewalk, some of your group may need to lag behind in order for your group as a whole to fit within 5/7 of the sidewalk. Another key component to this is that the fraction allowed for the other group must allow enough room for at least one individual to pass through. These are the key tenets to proportional perambulation, and as college students, we should all be educated well enough to handle fractions. Preach it. Practice it. Be a winner.

Currently listening to: "Cupid's Chokehold" by Gym Class Heroes
Previous activity: My last day of neurophysiology lab
Next thing on the agenda: Watching Scrubs then reading

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think this is an exceptional idea, but usually I just barge through the middle and get dirty looks/comments, which makes my day. This blog does remind me of why I love you, though--your total randomness and ability to take a seemingly petty event and expand it so beautifully; kudos.