Cross-campus Running and the Afternoon Slump

Today in class we were answering questions about mycotoxins and wheat stem rust and other random things (we’re required to take a breadth subject, which basically means topics can range from anthropology to African drumming). Our tutor knowingly stated that we were about to go over time, but that just made everything he said after that seem to drag out longer: “S o  w h a t ‘ s  t h e  d i f f e r e n c e  b e t w e e n  e n v i r o n m e n t  a n d  m i c r o e n v i r o n m e n t ?” I had gathered up my belongings and was keeping my eye on the door, awaiting the second he stopped speaking so I could make my escape. Normally, if I had nothing to do, I’d be happy to stay a little longer to wrap up a discussion. But on Fridays, I have to dart across campus in order to make it to my next class which takes place five minutes later. The first building is located on the far east side, and the next building is about as far west as you can go. To make matters worse, everyone in my (second) Lit class is incredibly punctual and they’ve usually started by the time I arrive puffing and arranging my seat in the least squeakily disruptive position.

I’m always torn between running flat out to make it before the teacher and not looking like a weirdo who’s just heard about the free curry outside the food court. Thus my only real option is a frisk walk, interspersed with occasional jogging when I think (rather, convince myself) that nobody’s watching. And I’ll be twice as conscious of what my legs are doing. Honestly, I’m always very aware of how I’m walking–I don’t know why exactly–it just feels like my feet don’t hit the ground properly. That’s never sounded as strange as when I typed it out just now. Anyway.

In the end, I showed up to Lit only about 20 seconds late (a new personal best!) and settled into my seat, squeakily. The fact that I’ve identified a particularly ‘squeak-inducing’ pair of jeans when combined with the faux leather chairs in said classroom hasn’t dissuaded me from wearing them. You’ve gotta pick your battles. It was my last class for the day, one that finishes at 5:15 pm when all the cafes are closing down and everyone’s just about lost their mojo, so our discussions about the texts are more like rants about why poets are so moody. One girl even dissed Taylor Swift in an allusion to unoriginality and bad pop music, and I would have screamed at her if I had any more fire in me.

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