One of these days, the sun will finally come out in Ohio, and spring will arrive. Students will flock to South Quad to day-drink, take their Peirce meals on the lawn, and some jerks will even bring out their guitars. Until that day comes, however, the majority of our social interactions at Kenyon will take place indoors. The notable exception to this rule is the Middle Path encounter.
Guys, social interaction is hard. As noted in last night’s list, awkward encounters are waiting around every corner. There is very little worse that can happen in a day at Kenyon (for me, anyway) than a terrifying Middle Path meeting. Beyond the daily crises (at what distance do I acknowledge that I’ve seen them? How far apart should we be before I say something? etc, etc) there are certain people on campus who you do NOT want to talk to, and oh my god they’re heading your way right now. Quick! What do you do?
1. Divert. Walk another way. Now. What’s nearby? Head down the nearest path leading away from the person you’re looking to avoid. Try not to look like you’re walking the wrong direction.
2. Hide. Are you North? Duck behind the nearest car! If you’re South, your options are more limited, but if you’re skinny you can try to hide behind a bench or a tree. Very subtle.
3. Deer in Headlights. Maybe if you stand perfectly still, they won’t see you?
4. Pretend to text as you walk by. That’s right. You are a popular person with lots of friends who text you. So what if you’re actually just checking your Instagram feed? They don’t need to know that. If you’re old-school (or don’t believe in texting or fake-texting on Middle Path), try reading a book while walking instead. Watch out for obstacles!
5. Look anywhere but. Eye contact is going to ruin everything. You’re trying to get where you need to go, and this is the most effective method to take. Look at the sky. Look at the trees. Look at your shoes. Do NOT look at whoever is approaching you. If your eyes are jumping around like a maniac, you’ll either make it past unscathed, or just look crazy enough to warrant being avoided yourself. And that’s what you wanted all along, isn’t it?