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notes from the dorm

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am

A university campus can be as big as a small town, so personal transport - walking, biking or longboarding - plays a central role.

Walking is by far the most economical and, unfortunately, the slowest form of transport, if you could call it that.

Those who live off campus are stuck with plain old walking to get from one lecture to another. Bringing a longboard or bike on the morning commute is just not worth the hassle.

We walkers who swear by the calories burnt hiking across the length and breadth of the campus are largely well equipped for the treacherous journeys that we undertake daily.

The smart ones possess a pair of rainboots - an indispensable piece of footwear when one lives on the British Columbian coast, which is lashed in winter by week upon gloomy week of unrelenting rain, sleet or snow, turning much of the campus into mud. Our rainboots become our best friends over the Canadian winter, braving the elements with us and elevating us to a plane of smug satisfaction as we watch those with trainers languish in the unforgiving sludge.

Bikes and longboards are admittedly much faster forms of transport - and I can only imagine how much longer I could bask in the warmth of my room enjoying breakfast and checking Facebook before starting the day if I owned either one - but from the viewpoint of a walker, bikers and longboarders are a nuisance.

This becomes evident in the last 10 minutes of every hour, when students flood the pathways of the campus as they head to their next lecture.

Bikers and longboarders can be spotted at this time weaving in and out of the crowds, alarming innocent pedestrians who are forced to dodge out of their paths lest they be unceremoniously knocked down on their way to lunch. I am sadly lacking in the faculty of bravery, which is vital in effectively manoeuvring these vehicles, so I think I will stick to walking in my Tretorn boots for the foreseeable future.

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