Running Out of Time

I am running through the halls of Paumanok Elementary
School. I'm not late. Tardiness hasn't occurred to me yet.

"No running in the halls!" is a constantly necessary
reprimand for children, while conversely it is quite difficult to
get an adult to run. He or she must be under some grave duress like
chasing a bus, or being chased. Otherwise one might plan a run in
some tiny crook of the schedule, which he or she often has difficulty
keeping to. Children, however, without any known destination, will
run wild.

It is not uncommon for a young student to run to his next class
and then once there, frantically begin devising the fastest means
of escape. The place he ran to isn't so different from his expectations
because he hadn't any, except maybe that what awaited would be more
new. It is at a certain age a type of surprise that arrivals should
be so mundane; that so much could have been expected.

Running seems to slow as destinations become clear, and maybe that's
why adults walk; they know where they are going. If we could pinpoint
the exact moment when a kid chooses not to run, but instead takes
pace, I believe we will have identified in that moment his entry
into adulthood, and I think it is probably the same moment where
a kid who formerly "couldn't wait," can.

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