tb Making your way through the hallways of life

As a high school student, I deal with crowded hallways every day. People push and shove, swear and fight -- and all in the four minutes between classes. I really wish that people would get along, or at least learn some manners and respect for one another. I know that it is impossible to change everyone, or even a few people, but it still ticks me off that so many people don't even care about others around them.

First example: All of the swearing. At lunch, a quarter of the words uttered in the cafeteria start with the letter f, and the word isn't football.

As my grandma says, "people who swear have nothing better to say." Couldn't have put it better, grandma.

It's almost like people who are using this vile word are trying to hide their minuscule vocabulary by adding a word that they think impresses others around them, but it usually just disgusts them. I've noticed that people in my class (the seniors) aren't as bad as the freshmen about using this particular word; however, we do use some of the others.

Second example: Interrupting. This is a big pet peeve of mine. In one class in particular, if the teacher is helping someone, my other classmates see nothing wrong with shouting out her name over and over again until she is done. Why can't you just raise your hands like you were taught in kindergarten? Not only does your shouting annoy others, but it makes it difficult for others to work. I've even seen them do this while she is on the phone or talking with another teacher.


Along with interrupting goes eavesdropping. I really hate it when I am having a private conversation with a friend or classmate, and a person sitting around me drops in comments. Now I admit I've been guilty of this, but I know when things are none of my business. Some people just can't keep their comments to themselves.

Third and final example: The pushing and shoving. Elbows have minds of their own, but you do have some control over them. I can't tell you how many times I've been elbowed in the ribs by people in the hallway. Because we're basically stampeding cattle in the hallways, if someone drops something, there is a very slim chance they are going to get it back undamaged. And because we don't have backpacks anymore, this is fairly common.

Of course, there is always a jerk that will trip a fellow student, but in taking the time to trip that person, he will probably get trampled.

Oh yeah, payback. Wouldn't it be great if hallways were like highways, with dashed lines and definite rules? We could clip turning signals to our jeans and make everyone's life just a little easier and safer.

My school isn't perfect, but we're pretty well behaved. Yes, I did just admit that my school is good. But if we just worked on these little behaviors, we could make school more pleasant for ourselves. And if we show a little bit of initiative, who knows what could happen? Someday, we may even have a parking lot that isn't fatal.

Katie Boone is a senior at Stewartville High School. To respond to an opinion column, send an e-mail to

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.