Many people get their best ideas when walking to work. Pundit George Will had this in mind when he wrote, “Imagine what would have been lost if Kant had been a jogger or Dickens had taken up tennis.”

Dr. Susan Alexander

Dr. Susan Alexander

If you are a regular reader of The Scroll, you will not mistake me for Kant or Dickens, but walking to work does get those brain cells moving for me. Some mornings I think of solutions to problems. Other days I compose memos or blogs in my head. I rarely need multiple drafts – by the time I reach Selby the first draft is written; by the AARC, revisions are complete.

Behind the wheel, it is just not the same. I am sure that there are people who can think and drive, but that’s not me. Truth to tell, from the erratic turns I see at Cleveland and Marshall, it’s probably not them either. Activity that requires too much attention is not conducive to English comp, and vice versa.

Some of my colleagues, like Elise Amel, bike to work, but they need to pay even closer attention to traffic conditions. Even with a helmet, bikers are quite vulnerable. So I hope that Elise isn’t writing the next great American novel as she pedals.

Well, of course, I’m not writing the great American novel either. Still, I like to think I provide value as a walker. When I’m not composing haikus as I stride along, I pick up trash. Jim Rogers tells me he picks up one piece every day as he walks to work. Overachiever that I am, sometimes I collect as many as three cans and a couple of bottles.

So, when you see me crossing the quad toward the recycle bin, you shouldn’t leap to the conclusion that I throw down half a six-pack for breakfast with a vodka chaser. If you care to be charitable, you can assume that my synapses are firing.

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