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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Holding the door causes detriment to the environment

<eaking news! It's cold in Minnesota in the winter. My numbed fingers and frozen boogers can all attest to this, sure. But I'm not here to rattle on about how my various appendages are faring in the subzero climes. No, a far more serious faces the students of Carleton College.

Plagued with a potent combination of awkardity, manners, morality, and “Minnesota Nice” (despite the fact that 75% of students don’t hail from the Land o’ 10,000 Lakes), Carleton students have taken to thoroughly embracing the custom of holding the door for another person. But, like cold weather and streaking, we know how to take things to their extremes.

It starts when you turn your head slightly, to glance if there is someone behind you, needed a held door. You see a shadow approaching, so you push mitten against wooden panel and assume position. Problem? That shadowing figure is actually a good 25 paces away.

But, oh!, here’s where the fun sets in: because you’re a Carleton student, you’re strangely attracted (as in, future spouse-potentional, duh) to this oncoming walker. So you keep holding on. Gracious oncoming walker then is prompted to do the same thing the next time she/he approaches one a door.

So where’s the catch? Isn’t this chivalry, decency, appreciation for humanity?!

Ah. That’s what they want you to think. But don’t be fooled. Just stop and ponder for a second: what’s the one thing that Carls love as much as each other?

Well, that could have gone quite a number of ways, but because I’m pretty sure prospies and parents read this, I’ll say “The Environment.” I mean, look around. How many sustainability signs are there? How many tree-hugger clubs? Exactly, the place is swarming with Earth-loving, Farm-housing folk.

Aha! But here is where the menace lies! It appears that our gallant and noble door-holding efforts are–gasp!–at odds with our thoughts of greener pastures.

Yes folks, that’s right. We’re in the thick of an environmental crisis, a global warming catastrophe, and you’re standing there, holding the door for that bundled-up, marshmellow-looking figure approaching, flashing your pearly whites? Thinking that your weekend plans can really get fueled now thanks to your kind and gentle nature? Cruel reality! The only thing being fueled is our carbon footprint.

So, what to do? Well, I think the answer is clear. The student body obviously needs to focus our efforts on becoming more uncivil, rude, and downright obnoxious to each other. Stop smiling at the dude behind you in the salad bar line. Shoot a dirty look at the girl next to you on the elliptical. And the next time the person in front of you looks like he or she is going to hold the door, flip them the oh-so-environmentally-aware bird.

It may be hard, it may be tough, and it’ll certainly take some grit. The road to sustainability is sure to be paved with jammed fingers and slammed doors, but if we want a better, greener future, we’re just going to have to work for it.

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