Opinion

Freshman survival 101: elevators, and the creatures who use them

I recently discussed with my friend the wonders that are the elevators in the freshman towers.

The issue of people taking the elevator to the second floor came up, to which she yelled, “Take your fat ass up one flight of steps, and if you have a rolling bag then strap it on your back, close the roll top and walk!”

The most interesting part about riding the elevators is, by far, the occupants – the people who make the ride worthwhile. People who take the elevator from the first to second floors (or even worse, people who take the elevator from the second to first floors) are just a small segment. Actually, very entertaining people use the elevators, such as:

1.) The people who stare at the screen that reads the floor numbers. I find the theory of general relativity of elevators and Newtonian gravity as fascinating as the next person, but I hardly think staring the screen down will magically make the elevator go faster.

2.) The people who talk on their cell phones and refuse to accept there is no reception within the four-walled, granite bunker. The rest of us are reduced to listening to them whispering sweet-nothings into their Razrs and jabbering baby talk to their “babes.”

3.) The people who attempt to make small talk in a bid to avoid awkward stare-downs. It’s fine and dandy to say “good morning,” but when asked, “How are you?” are we expected to just say, “Fine, how are you?” or is it an honest question to which we may answer?

It’s kind of hard to cram a whole day’s worth of information if you only have five floors to go, and it may end in the person making a dash out of the elevator while you are still rambling on about that biology test.

4.) It’s always fun to stand in the elevator crammed between two 200-pound guys who have just returned from weightlifting, and realize you may need to shower again yourself. The only way out of this debacle of overdeveloped apocrine glands is to purchase a gas mask.

5.) The best part about elevators is when you run for it, shouting, “Hold the elevator!” and the bastard inside won’t hold it open. When you manage to sprint to the button and open the door at the last minute, the idiot will now avoid all eye contact and either stare at the screen that reads the floor numbers, or attempt to talk on a cell phone while you glare at him.

So, the elevators, while not always functioning properly, promote a warm social atmosphere where people of all shapes, sizes, and sweat glands can mingle and make memorable small talk. Make the most out of them, especially if you get stuck in one and get to know these people quite well.

Lisa Magedler is a freshman majoring in creative writing, as of right now. She may be contacted at l.magedler@umiami.edu.

November 10, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.