The Editor's Journal: A promenade through paradise

Editor's Note: Long ago, I had intended for this to be a recurring column of general musings from my travails around L-S High School. Obviously, that did not happen, so here is the one-entry "Editor's Journal".

I guess in a lot of ways I am an aberration. I have almost gotten in trouble for arriving at class too early. Believe me, I had a good reason … it was time to embark on my daily ritual, the homeroom walk.
Lampeter-Strasburg High School
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Anne Harnish
Each day beginning shortly after 7:20, when we are permitted to go upstairs, Kevin Reed, Chaz Wolf, and I drop our backpacks in first period and begin wandering in circles through the downstairs hallway.

Some days, we go for speed -- our record is six laps in the approximately 10 minute window (when the warning bell rings at 7:30, we conclude the lap we are on and return to class) -- while others we set off with an intent to talk to someone in particular on our path.

Every day, we discuss the various classes we are taking, we ruminate upon the issues of the day whether at the school level or beyond, and we say hello to bystanders along our path. It fosters a sense of community. We know which teachers are assigned to which areas of the hall and prepare a joke, question, or snide remark as we walk by. We know what challenges various people are facing. We know when other groups of people will be traveling in the opposite direction. Overall, we know L-S High School better.

Truly, there is no substitute for face time.

There are other benefits too. When people quizzically wonder if we wander in circles every morning in the hallways, I usually quip, "It's good for the circulation."

But it is.

In years' past, there would be times when staying alert through first period was a struggle. Granted, in years' past I got to class, plopped myself in a desk, and waited for class to start. With just 10 minutes of walking each morning, I remain perpetually "alive, awake, alert, and enthusiastic" (well, at least the first three … depends on the day for the fourth). It's good mental preparation too; no matter what happened in the five minutes before I rushed out the door at home or the night before, a ten minute saunter in the hallway never fails to refocus the mind to be ready to start a new day.

Am I putting too much stock in the medicinal power of a stroll through the halls? Is it just a placebo? Perhaps.

But as I consider what I'll miss most about L-S High School, starting each day with a brief promenade through paradise with two close friends ranks near the top of the list. After all, sometimes the simple joys are the most meaningful.

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