Satire: Hallway traffic reaches distressing heights


Hannah Kaufmann

The science hallway during passing time.

Disclaimer: This article is an opinionated work of satire and is not meant to be taken seriously. No opinions or suggestions are genuine, and this piece should in no way inspire violence or disruption.

Mankind, throughout history, has stumbled upon countless plights. Plague. Rapture. Inflation.

But there seems to be just one problem over which we cannot triumph: mind-numbing, infuriating, pain-inducing hallway traffic. 

Hundreds of teenagers— from the hormonally abundant to the pituitarily challenged— pollute and torment Beaverton High School’s hallways at least five times a day. 

Students scrambling across campus are obstructed by impervious masses lollygagging down hallways. Regardless of destination, escape is futile. There is, quite literally, nowhere to run.

The whole school, given free rein for an all-too-long passing period of five minutes, becomes a rapacious heap of animosity. Exceptions appear to only be caused by sudden mental awakenings of lethargic, brain-dead adolescents, moving as gracefully in a straight line as a fish in an air vacuum. Somehow, time escapes them as much as sympathy does. The core memory of every individual’s high school experience, clearer than their first love or graduation day, will be the knelling of the school bell, prefacing a frantic rush for any open spot down the sheeple stream.

In some ways, this havoc prepares high schoolers for real life. The scurrying of students struggling to make it on time may prepare teens for, say, the realities of being a pedestrian in New York City, or an Uber driver in Los Angeles.

But since nothing else in high school is preparing us for real life, we might as well keep the atrocities of “adulting” and modern transportation systems out of our already overwhelming secondary education experience.

This “hallway traffic” complication may be harmful to not only the school’s reputation, but the victims’ psyche.

For example, as a seasoned-to-cynicism high schooler, I can confirm a number of occasions where this school’s population of airheads (never once including myself, because my holistic superiority absolves me of all fault) has contaminated my aura and ravaged my mental health like a rabid wolf would a meek little bunny. No amount of meditation and self-care slideshows can dare attempt to heal the punctuality-shaped cavity in my heart that pangs with every beat. Now, you may ask— how does this incident even begin to occur?

The most common of the hallway phenomena: the people that fate (the cruel mistress) has placed in front of you are a clear sign of the devolving of the human race. Now, let’s use our thinking brains for a moment here. You’re not outrunning any bears at that measly, impeding, failure of a pace.

As I drudge behind yet another indolent plebeian, I ponder how their walking speed has carried them this far through life. Like, instead of their Jordans, they walk as though they duct-taped a massive slug to each foot as a last hope to grasp the feeling of innovation. 

But it gets worse, dear reader— far worse. Because it seems like the slower someone walks, the more popular they turn out to be. Somehow, instead of choosing quality in their friends (conscious, respectful walking speeds), they choose quantity every time. I don’t understand why. The second I find a friend prospect, and I have many, I take them out for a spin. I ghost anyone who ends up more than eight paces behind me once we’ve walked the length of the Literature Hall.

Soon, you’ll find yourself hopelessly trapped behind a copious amount of slug-equipped semi-acquaintances, who decide the best way to converse in a respectful manner is to walk in a horizontal line and block 75% of the entire hallway.

Now, naturally, when you’re stuck at the end of one building behind the slowest people in intergalactic history, and your class is at the far end of the second floor of another building altogether, you have a couple of options. 

You can, one, be patient, virtuous, and a model Beaverton High School student. This usually entails waiting absent-mindedly for a chance to rush out into any open space available to you, like the hopeless, bland compliant you are. Perhaps you can even get some extra studying in. You do have about forty minutes of math homework left, and now would be a great time. Or maybe you can read that book for your English class, cover to cover, before your test next period. You’re not going anywhere.

Two. You can hold your breath and clumsily squeeze past them. I always opt for the side exit, but wouldn’t it be something if you shoved yourself right in the middle of their impromptu annoyance-strategy meeting? Bonus points if you bump them with your backpack. Maybe you can even ask them to walk faster because you’re going to be late. Of course, if you asked me that, I would be utterly inclined to walk twice as slow as before, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Three. You can scream at the top of your lungs. If you’re lucky (or if you’ve been practicing), you might even shatter some glass, which will cause some students to pause with confusion. This’ll be just long enough for you to make your way down the entire hall, gunning for the next building with a sole droplet of hope in your heart.

Screaming in hallway traffic has long been a fantasy of mine. However, I have held myself back, in case the scream hurts my throat. I wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to answer a question in my college-level classes or explain to It-girl Bella Hadid how I get my skin so smooth and luscious. 

If you’re an overachieving student slash all-around gift to the Earth like I am, I can think of several ways your voice won’t be injured, with each way drastically increasing in violence (and, causally, effectiveness). To keep it simple: concentrate on staring at them with such deadly eyes that their head starts to melt a little bit, burning their neurons and adjusting their brain signals to create a faster pace.

It’s foolproof. How would they even notice? Plus, their inadequate being lacks any immunity since it has never yet had to comprehend this level of super-human power. In crowded hallways, surveillance lacks, and a solid melt sesh sounds nothing if not cathartic.

Regardless of which action you choose (Scream! Melt them! Do it! Do it now!), you’re sure to find yourself in a drought of hope as it begins all over again. Your new obstacles seem to not only have missed the melting memo but walk like their foot slugs decided now was the perfect time to practice blocking for the slow-motion scene in their community theater production. 

Now. Is it really our students’ fault for being brain-dead heaps of scum who can’t keep up with glamorous, competent intellectuals and a fast-paced, middle-ranked high school? I don’t believe so. If I had to blame anything, I would blame technology. Getting up and getting in shape is the only way to ensure that our children, not robots, will be the next consumers of a (pretty okay) public high school experience. If Chat GPT were walking in front of me, you bet it’d know how to put one foot in front of the other. Maybe then I would even forgive it for obliterating my plans for a creative career.

There are many policies that could be put in place to gently and subtly ease into dictatorship at this slow-footed educational institution. While these are best left as an article of their own, I would like to remind any BHS students reading of a simple physics principle: inertia. 

All it takes is one quick step, and you’ll surely fall into place— not just into a more mature, well-developed version of yourself, but into your own spot in my beautiful, glowing heart. You’re the one who made a difference in the days of so many people. You are now, officially, on your way to becoming as special as I am.