Three Cities. One Day. One Tired Commuter.

How One Rose Hill Commuter Braved Multiple Extremities to Reach FCLC


Published: October 2, 2008

After my 82-year-old driver’s ed teacher told my class that he had never met a group of such despicable and senseless drivers, I never thought I would make it on the road.  The only decent driving advice I received came from my dad.  When I got my first car, he said “If it’s ever raining so hard that you can’t see the other cars on the road, just watch the painted lines to your left.” Well, that day finally came on my first attempt at commuting to Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), and I’m not sure that any words of advice could have prepared me for that rain.

Beware: The Ram Van may host loud riders and run-ins with exes. (Jonathan Armenti/The Observer)

It has taken me three years to finally register for a class at FCLC because the extensive commute from Yonkers has always worried me.  I had considered the fact that three cities in one day might be tiring, but I was finally willing to give it a shot.  I wanted this Tuesday to start right, but the weather seemed to be getting in the way.

-9 a.m.: My day begins at home in Yonkers, NY. I wake up at nine and am on the road by 11 a.m.  My eyes are glued to the painted lines. I can’t see a thing. The gray sky is hurtling buckets of water at my windshield while the cars around me are moving at a glacial pace. Some drivers have pulled off to the side of the road, but I can’t afford to stop. With wipers turned on at full speed, I manuever my way forward in hopes of making the Ram Van on time. Finally, I arrive at Rose Hill:  I trek through the puddles and sigh as I watch my tuition money pay for the sprinklers which are on in the rain.  Oh, Fordham.

-11:15 a.m.: I rush to sign up for the Ram Van as soon as I arrive. The girl behind the desk gives me that “what were you thinking wearing sandals in this weather” kind of look. I try to smile back. With two minutes to spare, I dash through the rain and board a half-empty van. Maybe I was right to worry about this commute; so far today I am already soaked and slightly disgruntled.

It’s also no help that I have heard horror stories about conversations on the Ram Van. Many an innocent rider has sat on the brink of insanity while listening to stories of weekend trysts and crazy rendezvous in the Big Apple. I ask myself—is it time to invest in an iPod? Should I go against everything I stand for, including vinyl records and used CDs? Will I be forced to put off my reading in an effort to drown out the voices? My ride ends up being less painful than I had envisioned, with the exception of the guy behind me who felt the need to dial everyone in his phone. OK, so maybe I can’t rule out an iPod just yet, but I must admit the van is pretty cozy. I shoot him a dirty look and continue to watch the rain.

-12:15 p.m.: Coffee!  I’m on my third cup of the day.  Starbucks offers a satisfying change from the Rose Hill coffee selection. I reach the security desk at FCLC. Apparently, I lost my ID in the Ram Van scramble. The security guard compliments my scarf and lets me slide. I join the mass of students waiting for the elevators. Wow. The rumors are true, these things are pretty slow. I miss the first elevator because I wasn’t quick enough. I knew I wasn’t cut out for this FCLC stuff!

-1:00 p.m.: My first class is a delight.  I find out I’ll be writing articles for The Observer. Who knew? The second class’ syllabus reads that there will be an in-class viewing of Woody Allen’s “Manhattan.” My ear-reaching smile at the news couldn’t be wider.

-5:27 p.m.: As I wait on line at the bookstore, the thought of making a 5:30 Ram Van fades to a distant memory.

-6 p.m.: The Ram Van ride home takes on a whole new level of awkward as I spend the entire time seated beside my ex-boyfriend. We haven’t seen each other since April.  Good times!

-6:45 p.m.: Finally, I’m back at Rose Hill and back in my Buick. By 7:30, I’m home in Yonkers.  My bed has never felt better. Is it too early to go to sleep?

-8:30 p.m.: My phone rings. I know it’s one of my friends asking me to go out tonight. I turn out the light and let my voicemail pick it up.