Uphill Both Ways: It's Not Classy But It's How I Get to Class

A step by step guide for walking to campus without getting raped.

Blue light on an emergency campus pole

Because I live off campus, I have to walk over half a mile to get to class twice a day. Most days I enjoy the walk, particularly if it's raining and I can jump in puddles along the way. But there are some days when the creepers and idiots are out in full force, and on these days I have a special routine for getting to campus without getting molested and without killing anyone.

Step 1: Exit apartment, dodging random creepers hanging out around door.

I usually mumble a mandatory greeting at any neighbors who are out and pretend not to be fully aware of what they did in the parking lot the night before. Don't ask, you don't want to know.

Step 2: Take the sketchy shortcut through the neighboring set of apartments.

Here I like to pretend to be in an action movie, dashing around, hiding behind parked cars while trying not to step on shards of glass or condoms and syringes.

Step 3: Cross the scary road that has no lighted crosswalk because apparently the DOT hates students and wants us all run over by buses.

Here I must avoid getting hit by the many idiot students who drive monster trucks. Mid-street I tend to realize I didn't do my homework and panic before deciding I couldn't care less.

Step 4: Get honked at / whistled at / something nasty yelled at me.

Honk If You're a Creeper pink tshirt
Your horn, you pervert, not my breasts!

This is the part where I mentally design "honk if you're a creeper" t-shirts, making a note that the shirt needs to come in size "Adorable Victim." Colors should include roofied red, jailbait jade, and molest-me maroon.

Step 5: Check to see if there's anyone on the other side of the road to race.

Spot somebody, and begin speed walking. See if they notice. Get competitive. Form a team with anyone nearby. Trash-talk the other team. Run when the other team gets pissed.

Step 6: Get forced off the sidewalk by a skateboarder or bicyclist.

This will happen about 20 more times, but I'm not going to bother listing it again.

Step 7: Judge whoever is walking in front of me based on what they're wearing.

Girl in the tank top "dress," you're not fooling anyone—we all know you just couldn't find your pants this morning. Guy riding a bike in low-rise jeans—watching your pants fall further down each time you pedaled was the highlight of my morning... until I saw your hairy ass. And to the two girls in bikinis, while your determination to tan is inspirational, it's 8am, and not over 40 degrees yet. Great idea, dubious timing.

Step 8: Get asked for directions to Government Center.

As usual, I have no idea what they're talking about, so I direct them to the beach instead, or to Planned Parenthood if I'm feeling giggly.

Step 9: Get run off of the sidewalk by three assholes coming toward me who are next to each other.

I spend the next five minutes muttering profanities about them under my breath. This gets me weird looks from everyone who passes me as they wonder what they did wrong.

Step 10: By now I'm approaching the bus stop.

Homeless guy with great voice
I can't help but want to buy stuff from him though.

Here I futilely employ avoidance maneuvering and walk as far away as possible from the random guy who seems to live there. It helps to pretend to be texting, or to walk quickly with my head down.

Step 11: Get hit on anyway.

It was inevitable, and I refrain from flipping him the bird only because he's from the sketchy apartment complex by the bus stop and looks scary as hell.

Step 12: This is the part where I trip over the uneven sidewalk, but recover brilliantly by pretending to need a 2-second jog.

I then blush, because I know that no one bought my little clever jogging ruse. Okay fine, I'm a terrible liar, the sidewalk was perfectly even.

Step 13: Realize I'm late for class, and walk just fast enough that I'll be there in time to sign in, but slow enough that I'll miss the professor's beginning of class attempts to relate to students.

Depend Diapers package
It doesn't "Depend" on your point of view, you're still old.

Look we get it, you're hip and young still, despite all your grey hair and wrinkles. Maybe if you weren't wearing an adult diaper it would be a little more believable.

Step 14: Finally get to the last crosswalk, but have to wait twice through the traffic light to be able to cross because the fucktard who got there first was incapable of pushing the button to cross.

Cross the road, avoid getting hit by the bus that feels it has supreme right-of-way. Give dirty look to the person who didn't push the cross button as I speed walk past them debating whether or not to push them in front of the bus.

Step 15: Arrive to class 10 minutes late, find a seat next to a sane looking person, try and fail to get notebook out quietly.

Nap, using the notebook as a pillow. Wake up in a puddle of my own drool with a notebook imprint on my face and reverse the order of the steps back home.

C'mon, one more:

Lyle van der Berg's picture

And what of the pigeons? Are they extensive? That was my best Sherlock Holmes impression. I always get harassed by them SkyRats for no reason.

Here is a crazy idea, get a recumbent trike. Why an recumbent trike? I am assuming that your comment on the 'not yet 40 degrees' bit suggests that it gets below freezing sometimes during the year. A lot of people use the excuse for not taking a bicycle as it is 'dangerous'. Lets take this moment to note that this article is basically a guide on not getting raped on your trip to school. A trike cannot slip from under you, not only are you at a much shorter fall to the ground that a bicycle, you are also on three wheels, making it impossible for you to simply tip or slip over.
A recumbent bicycle is significantly faster than a regular bicycle. Some might argue that you might sweat on your travel to your destination. I can't really argue with you there, I don't think sweating is a bad thing, in fact, I think it's extremely good for you. Sweat says your heart rate has risen, that is a good thing indeed. However, are you going to tell me you didn't sweat while sprinting past rapists?

The trike will blow your commute time out of the water. If you understand how fast you can go on a bicycle, you can understand how much faster you can go on a recumbent bicycle. As you gain speed, more of the energy put towards pedaling is spent solely on fighting the wind. That is why recumbent bicycles is so much faster than upright bicycles. Recumbents have an aerodynamic advantage. Compared to the advanced aero tuck that professional cyclists use to gain speed down hill, you are a mere 30% more aerodynamic on a recumbent bicycle. Most people don't ride in the aero tuck however, so it's probably at least 50% more aerodynamic.

An average person can hold a speed around 20mph on a recumbent bicycle. That is pure pedal power, imagine adding a small internal combustion engine or a small battery with a electric motor to your setup. You'd be capable of getting to school without even considering being raped, or late. You can still be late, however. All you need to do is leave later.

The recumbent bicycle is the best of all worlds in the transportation region, especially if you add a small ICE engine with a 2 gallon tank (this setup will get you over 150 miles to the gallon, that is 300 gallons on a 2 gallon tank).

The hard part might be locking up your bike, I mean, how many telephone poles are there around your college?

Molly Williams's picture

My only concern is the crosswalk. The position necessary to ride a recumbent trike screams "rape me" and I'd have to stop for at least five minutes before being able to get across. Also, I hate to think of the consequences of wearing a skirt while riding a recumbent trike. Misgivings aside, the idea of being able to leave later and still arrive late is intrigues me.

Andrei Trostel's picture

Nicely done Molly.

You have a very funny and quirky style.

Write more please.


Molly Williams's picture

Thank you, I shall :-)

Wesley Jansen's picture

I used to complain that I had to walk past a huge cemetary on my way to campus...I guess I didn't have it that bad.

Molly Williams's picture

So many tombstones to hide behind, provided the creepers didn't get there first. Come to think of it that could get awkward. Bright side, if you get murdered by a stalker or a ghost it's a really convenient location to be dead. And now, an inappropriately cheery smiley face: :-D

Wesley Jansen's picture

Ha ha ha. That's a good point. Athough I'd have to say I was dying a intellectual death in most of the classes I was taking anyway.