Campus Life

Infinite congestion

Five ways to quickly navigate the hallways of MIT

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Students swarm the hallway from Building 26 to 8.
Melissa Renée Schumacher—The Tech

Ever been impatiently inching along the Infinite in a hurry to be on time but found yourself trapped among the masses of people cluttering the hallway, slowly waddling along like molasses on a cold winter’s day? It can be frustrating, to say the least. Here are a few suggestions to successfully avoid the heavy traffic of MIT’s passageways.

Method 1: Beep, Beep!

I’m not sure how the rest of the MIT community feels, but when I’m weaving in and out of the masses of students, tourists, and professors going down the hallway, I always imagine that I’m driving on a congested highway at rush hour. As a result, I feel as though the Rules of the Road should also apply to the Rules of the Hallways — if there is a Sunday driver, pass them; if there is an intersection, the person on the right goes first; if a driver is on the wrong side of the road, then they deserve to be run over; and if I’m frustrated with these circumstances, I might just loudly shout “Beep, Beep” and hope that people think I’m crazy enough to move out of the way. Perhaps MIT (or hackers) should paint road markings down the hallway. This method will effectively provide a source of entertainment and quell your anger and frustration at having to deal with people who can’t handle the speed of MIT.

Method 2: Shiny Objects

“Free energy drinks down that hallway!” or “A purple hippopotamus with fairy wings is down that hallway!” or, for physics majors, “Someone found a magnetic monopole, and they’re looking for someone to help publish their work down that hallway!” The point is crystal clear. If someone provides a “shiny” object for people to gawk at, the masses will flock towards it — similar to how fluorine would bombard a reservoir of free electrons. Simply make a distraction to divert people down a hallway that is not the one desired for transportation, and you’ll be home free. Remember, creativity and effectiveness are linearly related.

Method 3: I have Ebola!

Cough, cough! Hack, hack! Sniffle. I don’t feel too well. Oh, dear! I hope I don’t infect anyone else with my highly communicable and life-threatening disease. What a travesty that would be! I’m pretty sure if someone were to act as if some illness held them within its abhorrent clutches by hacking up a lung, I would move. Better yet, pretend that lunch is attempting to make another appearance — but in a more digested manner. Or, just loudly proclaim that you have contracted Ebola, and that anyone who is within a two foot radius will be dead in a week’s time. That should suffice — people will move or suffer the consequences.

Method 4: Segway + Hallway = Loads of Fun

Let’s say that Method 1 no longer suffices. You can’t just pretend to be driving anymore. You have to make it a reality. Enter Segway — a.k.a. awesomeness. If people don’t kindly move their cabooses out of the way when you shriek “Beep, Beep,” then you can just kindly run them over. You’re on a Segway, for crying out loud. A force field with a three foot radius will be formed around you as soon as you step behind the handles. You have become unstoppable. All of us lame walkers will just stop and stare in jealousy. Kudos to you, Segway owner. Kudos.

Method 5: Go Below

If you don’t want to do anything fancy and just make it from Point A to Point B, just use the tunnels. MIT has passages called tunnels? Yeah, we do! They run right under the Infinite and are void of heavy pedestrian traffic. That sounds perfect! They’re very convenient and hardly anyone uses them. You could probably sprint to your next class and not worry about bumping into another carbon-based life form (pertaining to sulfur-based beings, I provide no guarantees on the frequency of those encounters).

So, the next time you encounter a glob of people in the hallway who won’t move, just use one of these techniques. Don’t rip out your hair or subjugate yourself to move at the established pace. Just stay calm, breathe, and remember the toolkit of methods to deal with such inconveniences.