COLUMN: Just open the damn door already

Michael McLaughlin

As I’ve previously stated, there are many things about my peers I just flat out don’t understand. For example, the obsession with third-tier reality shows. I’m still hoping beyond hope they’re only watched in a tongue-in-cheek fashion. However, another mystery, which affects me on a more personal level, is the lack of consideration shown by my fellow students. To be fair, I myself have committed some of these acts on rare occasions when walking around campus.

A day doesn’t go by when I don’t end up stuck behind a “collective” of three to five students who have seemingly decided the most efficient way to travel to their classes is in a large mass sauntering at the breakneck speed of about 1 mph. This glacial movement in itself wouldn’t be a problem if the entire sidewalk weren’t blocked in the process. Of course, all the while they’re prattling on about something, which is high on the trite scale.

And, of course, if someone actually tries to pass them, generally with a mumbled apology on his or her lips, he or she is treated as though he or she is some sort of social pariah for daring to ask them to move a foot to the right so the lone individual can pass them. God forbid someone might actually want to be on time to class instead of being trapped for what seems like an eternity.

Another example of obviousness while maneuvering around campus concerns those so totally engrossed in their cell conversations. They don’t realize they’re weaving back and forth around the sidewalk, or they’ve chosen the worst possible place to stop dead and finish their conversation before heading to class, usually smack dab in the middle of the freaking doorway. Yes, I realize one’s conversation about who they drunkenly traded saliva (or worse) with the night before is rather important, but that’s no excuse to wander around campus aimlessly. Then again, I suppose I should be happy they at least aren’t behind the wheel while babbling.

The most infuriating case, which boggles my admittedly easily flustered mind, is the door conundrum. Numerous times during my scholastic career at Kent State, I’ve been behind a student who instead of opening the door right in front of them, will stand there, with what one can only presume to be a blank look on his or her face. The student will wait upward of five minutes for everybody exiting the building to leave through the other door before entering through that door. Which brings us to the question of the day. Why don’t they just open the damned door right in front of them? I mean, I’m sure it’s hard work to lift up one’s arm and pull a door open, but I’m also sure the 20 or so people waiting to enter the building would be eternally grateful.

In all seriousness, I realize everyone on campus has a lot going on in his or her life. Sometimes we just forget to follow the rules of common courtesy. Hopefully, this column has refreshed everyone’s memory.

Of course, that pompous thought assumes my readership is above mid-double digits in the first place.

Michael McLaughlin is a senior history major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].