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Banbury Cross

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Post details: Walking the walk

Walking the walk

Men are genetically equipped with exactly one kind of walk - one standard way of lugging their body mass from the point A to the point B. And whether they carry a six pack of Samuel Adams or freshly inked draft of the Declaration of Independence in their hands, they strut down the street with the very same swagger. Women, on the other hand, are a completely different ball game - they have as many walks as snowflakes have shapes. Similar on the outside, but astonishingly different under close scrutiny.

A friend of mine graduated from Georgetown University's Nursing Program, so together with her boyfriend we went along to celebrate her educational victory dance. The ceremony was held in the Gaston Hall - a massively paneled auditorium, resplendent with warm wooden tones and ornamented in detail that would make King Arthur's most discerning knights quite comfortable.

We had an excellent view of the stage which the nurses in the making had to negotiate for their badge of accomplishment - a little pin which they got in lieu of a diploma. From our vantage point we saw their whole voyage: climbing short stairs on the right, then carrying themselves across the stage and having the pin pierced into their lapels. One after another, the new blood of the medical industry displayed an amazingly varied spectrum of ways to cross the stage. Here is how they did it:

assuredly - like a mighty battleship on its first mission
aggressively - as if they had an unfinished business with the dean
deliberately - as if they were measuring the distance
gingerly - as if the stage turned into a mine field
eagerly - as if the pin was made out of marzipan
gracefully - like dandelion spores wafting in a draft
hurriedly - as if catching a bus that was just about to leave
mechanically - like a well controlled robot
menacingly - as if the pin was to be bullied into obedience
flailingly - as if their future depended on their wingspan
solemnly - like princesses on their way to the altar
choppily - as if the stage was a heaving sea
tentatively - as if not sure if any of the faculty was to bite them

Pages and pages from the Ode to Locomotion were streaming in front of our eyes, until there were no more ways to cross the stage.

In one of the numerous talks, the class valedictorian praised the varied student body which "recruited from all walks of life". She could not have been more right about that.


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