I briefly considered writing a deep, soul-searching post about my impending graduation, but then I thought, “Nah.” All I will say about the matter is: I picked up my cap and gown a few days ago, and I can’t really process that fact. The cap and gown are still wrapped up in fancy plastic, delegated to their original Barnes & Noble bookstore bag…which will be their permanent home until the end of May.

Here is the troublesome bag itself, with its unspeakable contents.

Here is the troublesome bag itself, with its unspeakable contents.

The other day, when I was walking down Main Street with the emotional aforementioned bag, I was also balancing my fairly large laptop bag over my shoulder and a Starbucks latte in the other hand. As I was juggling these three objects, I felt strangely out-of-whack. Suddenly I realized what made me feel off-kilter: I wasn’t talking on the phone.

Usually, when trekking from my apartment on the far end of Main Street to class or elsewhere, I call either (a) my mom, (b) my dad, (c) my sister/best friend, (d) another friend, or, occasionally, (e) my grandparents, which is amusing because my grandparents don’t always understand phones. Sample: my grandparents left me a voicemail one time that went a little something like this:

Nana (F.Y.I. I call my grandma ‘Nana’ and my grandpa ‘Papa’): Ed, you have to turn right!

Papa: Lee, I know where I’m going!

Nana: No, you should have turned back there!

Papa: I’m following the GPS! The GPS said left!!

Clearly, they didn’t realize that they were leaving me a three-minute voicemail about traffic directions…but that’s what happened. I called them to clarify in case they wanted to talk about something important, but they had no idea that they called me at all, much less left a voicemail. They’re the best.

Since I had no free hand to hold my iPhone last Thursday, I was reduced to people watching. I guess I enjoy talking on the phone on my various 15-20 minute walks throughout the day to feel like I’m accomplishing something during that “wasted” time. I very rarely run into someone who’s heading in the same direction that I am (as opposed to a passing “Hi, how are you?”), but when that happens, it’s a welcome change. Otherwise, I’m not going to lie, I get bored. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I hate having time alone to think. But, with several walks throughout the day, sometimes I reach the point where I simply need to do something else.

Anyway, in my impromptu social experiment, I gazed around, confused about what other people typically do while traversing the great distance from Main Street to class (and back). I discovered the following:

(1)  A significant number of people listen to music – or at least pretend to listen to music – based on the overwhelming presence of headphones.

(2)  Some people walk without any sort of technological distraction, and these people tend to walk in a hurried fashion. I even noticed one guy in a suit, clutching a briefcase, and he was on a mission.

(3)  Some people do talk on the phone. There were, however, less people on the phone than I thought – at least during this particular Thursday afternoon.

So, readers, since I’m curious – and would rather think about the subject of distracted vs. focused walking as opposed to other matters (i.e. the future) – what do you do while you walk around campus?

sillywalksNote: Sadly, I don’t have any pictures that I’ve taken while walking around campus to add to this post…which is probably due to the fact that I’m usually on the phone (*shrugs coyly*). Instead, I’ll close with a picture from Monty Python’s ‘Ministry of Silly Walks’ sketch. 

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