To say that McNicholas is a maze would be an understatement. The building as it stands now was assembled in so many different decades that one may find it easier to explain it with the butterfly effect than with the actual timeline of construction. The halls, much like the nervous system of the human body, weave throughout a seemingly simple footprint, racking up an astounding mileage. Stairwells connect the halls among the countless floors, and spooky dead ends have been discovered in at least two locations throughout the school.
Most students can remember a time, likely freshman year, where they found themselves lost in the labyrinth of halls; however, conquering the puzzle is achievable, as most, if not all, students do eventually attend a class before graduation. While the floorplan of McNicholas may seem to be the fiercest beast lurking in the school, there is one far greater, a hive-mind per se, the students.
These students are no doubt influenced by the sinuous halls slithering through the school. They may be friendly, generous, and dare I say it, considerate, when they are in class, in the lunchroom, or when it is outside of school hours. This, however, is all a mirage, when the bell rings, they become cold, heartless beasts. Some speed off to their next class, creating a wake of destruction in their path, while others group up to stampede the opposing traffic in the halls. Some stroll through the halls as if time has ceased to tick, and some walk as though they speak with a British accent.
This is, perhaps, too harsh a criticism of the students at McNick. Most of the terrors of the halls are caused by congeniality with peers, an inclination to stop and say “hi” to all the passersby, or just a brief lapse in consciousness regarding the stress of people walking behind. No matter what the cause is, innocent or sinister, many students would prefer if the halls operated like roadways. Junior Tara Reich suggested, “People should walk in the hallways like you drive. Stay on the right side, don’t cut corners, and don’t just stop in the middle.” Many students recommended that people should walk faster in general, and that people need to be more mindful of others in the hall.
Out of 125 respondents, the student body and faculty represented rated the etiquette in McNick’s halls as 3 out of 5 stars. This may not be indicative of much, as students don’t have many other hallway experiences to compare; however, it does show that there may be a need for improvement of the way students conduct themselves in the halls.
In the poll, students were asked to pick the five most annoying types of “hallway walkers.” The clear winners are: people who stop to talk with 83 votes, people who walk on the wrong side with 80 votes, groups that block the entire hall with 79 votes, and people who walk slowly with 75 votes.
Students recounted experiences in the halls. Junior Meechi Georgiades said, “Recently I was walking in the hallway and there was a group of girls walking side by side really slowly, and I wanted to get past them, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I had to suck it up.”
Sophomore Olivia Rohling said, “People just don’t walk! They barely walk as if on a Sunday stroll. Seriously, it’s so annoying, please just walk at a normal pace.”
Sophomore Jakob Tucker said, “For the entirety of this school year, I have traveled from Ms. Hayes’ room to Mrs. Sennett’s walking all the way through Junior hall past Mr. Spurlock’s room and down the stairs there specifically to avoid traffic. However, it seems that people have been taking that way more recently and choose to walk .5 mph right in front of me.”
The fifth place result in the poll, with 53 votes, went to staircases dominated by one flow, blocking off the opposing traffic. Sophomore Emily Taylor said, “I feel like pretty often, the problem is on the staircase. People tend to take up the whole staircase, so other people can’t go down the right side. Then, we end up getting smushed or having to wait for that big clump of people to go up the staircase to pass.”
Some students are not bothered by these tendencies. Junior Mary Schuh said, “I really don’t get annoyed that easily. Actually, I’m probably the person stopping in the hall, swinging my backpack around.”
Junior Marie Stienkuhl said, “There has never been a minute when walking down these halls when I am annoyed. If people are slow I remind myself I totally have enough time to get to class. If people bump into me, it’s no biggy.”
Students, if you are looking to improve your school, or maybe if you are looking for something to do for Lent, follow these rules in the hall:
- Stay on the right
- Don’t stop, and if you have to, get to the side
- Walk just a little faster
- Leave space for others to get by on the stairs
- Be mindful!