You ever play Frogger?
I’m not talking about Frogger 64, or any other brand-spanking new version where the frog has a machine gun or a supersonic plane. I’m talking about the original, Atari-style Frogger. Chances are if you’ve driven on Laurel Avenue during the school day, you’re very familiar with the game.
Dodging students crossing the street while trying to miss sharply turning bikes and cars while managing not to run a traffic light is much like the video game. There, it was your job to maneuver the tiny frog across the river while avoiding alligators and spaces between logs.
It’s a sad situation, what with pedestrians, unlike the digital frog, only having the one life.
Sad, too, not because of the difficulties involved in accomplishing important driving tasks, but because there are so many students darting into the road, flagrantly ignoring crosswalks. For these students, any tiny break in traffic is fair game for crossing the street. Doesn’t matter that the break in traffic is only a couple of car lengths long, or that it occurs half a block from the crosswalks, where I am expecting the pop-up pedestrians to come from.
I am continually frustrated by pedestrians who forget that, while they do have the right of way, that doesn’t mean that they can cross anywhere they please, thank you very much.
And that’s just one example of the lack of thinking that I’m seeing on this campus. As the semester gets into full swing, my list grows longer and longer.
TVs in weird places
It seems like more and more televisions are dangling from the ceilings in the Lory Student Center. This was fine when they were in logical places, such as the commons area in the basement. It’s perfectly sensible to want to watch a bit of TV in between classes or while eating a quick bite.
But why do we need televisions (and lots of them) in the University Bookstore? As I was picking up a book yesterday, I noticed that there were several TVs hanging from the ceiling. Who’s watching them?
Do we need to be able to catch an episode of General Hospital while grabbing a course packet?
Furthermore, why would a state institution, in a time of tightening budgets, need to throw a half-dozen TV’s into a bookstore? Is there some new state quota for the amount of screens per square foot? Aren’t there better ways to spend that money, or at least better places to hang those screens?
Bike stop signs
As part of the university’s plan to eliminate cars from campus, I’ve noticed that more and more bike paths are springing up instead. This is great, as biking is a healthy way to get around. But why is it that most bikes seem to conveniently ignore all traffic signage on these pathways?
Hey, bike folks, why don’t you stop at the stop signs?
I’ve almost hit several bikers who seem ignorant of the danger. One day, I won’t be lucky, and someone’s going to get hurt. That’s a problem.
This is a university campus, so I can presume that illiteracy isn’t the issue.
So what is it, then?
Students, there are trash bins, cans and Dumpsters strategically placed all over this campus. So why is it, then, that I watch people, on a daily basis, toss candy and other snack food wrappers on the ground instead of in those receptacles? Why are there newspapers blowing across the plaza?
Again, this is a place of higher education, so I assume that you’re not ignorant.
Are you just that lazy?
Maybe I’m just getting too sensitive, but these sorts of things annoy me more and more with each passing day. We can do better, folks.
So why aren’t we?
Bud Hunt is a graduate student studying English education. E-mail him wtih what makes you mad.