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COMMUTER DIARIES: Campus observations

By Patty Kreiser

Well, kids, it's that time of the year again! No, I'm not talking about Christmahanukwanzastice (that's Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice all rolled into one big holiday); I'm talking about my end-of-the-semester observations.

Last year, a reader had the audacity to comment on my hatred of University squirrels. Just because I express my hatred of those vile beings in my column doesn't mean I dwell upon it all day and night. I still hate those wretched beings and I get a decent-sized column in which to express it as much as I want. But I digress. This column is on this semester's driving-related happenings.

Well, first of all, I would like to thank Public Safety. This time I'm serious. I had another blonde moment and locked myself out of my car when I was already late for work and freezing my butt off. What's a girl to do? I called P-Safe, who responded to my call within minutes. I was extremely impressed by their speedy response, especially since it was the day after a friend of mine was locked out of his room wearing nothing but a towel and had to wait over an hour to get back into his dorm room. Gosh, it must have sucked to be him that day.

Anyway, P-Safe's response time was extremely impressive. Too bad my car doesn't like to be broken into-it took almost 30 minutes to unlock it. I may have manual locks and windows, but my car is pretty good at not wanting to let people in! So thank you, Public Safety. While some of my friends may hold a grudge against you for towing or booting their vehicles, I have nothing but gratitude toward you.

Which brings me to my next observation: is it me, or was there a lot more towing and car-booting this semester? While I'm glad that rule-breakers are getting the punishment they deserve (After all, you snooze you lose-get to school past 9 a.m. and you're not getting a good parking spot!), is it necessary to tow their cars? Aren't tickets just as powerful? It would save time and fuel just to ticket students' cars. Call me crazy, but I don't know if I'm happy with my tuition dollars going towards towing cars parked in creative spaces. In fact, sometimes I just like to look at the "parking spaces" some students come up with. My favorite might be parking in a fire zone. How can you miss the big yellow writing on the pavement that says "Fire zone: do not park"? I mean, Helen Keller could probably have seen that. Okay, that was mean; sorry for making a joke of poor taste. But you get my point: don't park in a fire zone unless you plan on fighting a fire!

After that, I'd like to say that some people should not be allowed to drive. At all. Ever. For example, if you're from Florida, do the world a favor and never get behind the wheel. You Floridians drive slower than my senile grandmother. And not only do you drive slower than molasses, you also don't like to notice when traffic lights change color. Green means go, moron!

If you're from the boondocks of West Bumblefarm, please do not drive your car on campus as you would around the back-country. The University's roads are not made for 80-miles-per-hour-off-road driving. Also, don't drive like you're behind your tractor. Most cars nowadays move faster than 10 miles per hour and don't say "John Deere" on the side. Whilst we might all love a good tractor ride, Hempstead is not the place for it.

Finally, and this goes to all my fellow commuters: let's stop stalking each other for parking spots. I get weirded out when some guy follows me to my car. I either want to pull out my pepper spray on them or walk straight back into Dempster Hall and say, "Gotcha! I'm not really leaving!" You'll get a parking spot eventually, so in the meantime, stop creeping me out.

I suppose that just about wraps things up for my commuting observations this semester. But don't worry, I'll be back in the spring with even more fascinating stories of my commuting life. Have a fabulous holiday. Oh, and drive safely.

Patty Kreiser is a junior broadcast journalism student. You may e-mail her at

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