Monologue for my last trip
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Beep, beep, beep, beep.

It's a quarter to six and the sun is barely peeking through the curtains. My alarm is squawking at me from the window sill.

Beep, beep, beep, beep.

I resentfully toss my perfectly warm comforter off of me, exposing my right arm and shoulder to the shockingly cool temperature of the rest of my room.

Beep, beep, beep, beep.

Even in my groggy and exhausted state of mind, I know that if I press "snooze" I won't ever get out the front door in time. I use all the energy I can muster and reach to my obnoxious alarm clock to stop the monotonous and repetitive tone.


With one long breathy exhale and moan, my feet are on the ground and I'm out of the oasis otherwise referred to as my bed.

By 6:45am, I've managed to get myself showered, clothed and pulled together enough to feel presentable to the rest of the world. With my coffee in my left hand and my purse and notebook in the other, I get in to my car and on the road.

My first - and only - class isn't until 9:35, but I know from experience that if I'm not on the freeway by at least 7:15, I won't ever make it to campus in time. I inch my way through traffic, changing freeways, venturing through tunnels, crossing bridges and eventually fighting for parking before I finally arrive at school.

My class is only 90 minutes long. However, my commute takes me over 2 hours. Now honestly, is it really worth it?

Most days, I think not.

Now I know that I'm not the only student that commutes to SF State, and I'm pretty certain that I don't have the longest, or the most difficult commute either. (I'm sure some of you will recall the recent grad student who, for a portion of the semester, commuted by plane to SF State from LA until her campus housing came together).
I'm also fully aware that I do have alternatives to driving, that I don't have to be putting the excessive miles on my own car, spending extra money on gas, bridge tolls and the occasional parking expenses. This is the choice I make in how I get myself to school.

I've attempted public transportation in the past, and while yes, the cost is slightly less to take BART and then jump on the free shuttle provided by SF State to get to campus, the inconsistency in their schedules and the lack of reliability that they both have proved to me over the years receive bigger checks on the "Con" side of my pro-public transportation argument.

I gave up on taking public transportation after it started affecting my grades. Yes, BART is the reason I had to do countless extra credit assignments to make up for quizzes missed at the start of my classes. And I've learned that I am one of the fortunate students who's teachers decided to take pity on me and my pathetic commuter complaints and allow me to make up a few of those missed credit opportunities. I'm sure there are numerous other students who weren't so lucky and whose grades ultimately had to suffer because they couldn't get to campus on time thanks to the fight that broke out at the West Oakland BART station, delaying the trains at least 25 minutes, or because they had to wait for nearly an hour at the Daly City BART station before they were finally able to make it on to one of the free shuttles.

I decided to take matters in to my own hands and accept the extra costs of commuting so that I could successfully complete my college education. This seemed to be the best solution for myself. Even though I may have to leave my house two hours before my class begins in order to make it on time, at least I know what to expect. Even with the possibility of an accident or road work, I am still in control. I am the one behind the wheel and I am the one applying pressure to the gas pedal. I don't have to stop and pick up passengers who are bustling and pushing to make it on to the BART car. I don't have to watch three different shuttles come and go while I stand waiting another 15-20 minutes for the next one, hoping that it may finally be the one I am able to get my ass on and get to school.

F*** that. I'm driving. If you're in my area, I'll pick you up. Maybe we'll qualify for the carpool lane.



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