Culture Shock Therapy: “Oh my god, I’m like, so sorry, I totally almost killed you”3 min read

Ryan Brusuelas

If you have entered one of the parking lots at De Anza and come out alive then consider yourself lucky.

So, I finish my math class the other day and come to a stop sign in Parking Lot A. As I consider what my hypothetical future would have been had I actually paid attention during the math classes in high school instead of drawing heavy metal band names, I suddenly feel a jolt … SMASH! A shimmering 2010 sports car backs up right into my poor humble civic. A young student exits the sports car laughing, “Haha! Like oh my god, I’m so sorry, you like, ok?” I realize quickly that I cannot communicate with this other person in an intelligent way, so I give a nod to show recognition of mutual human existence and inspect the cars. They’re fine. I tell the student to forget it. But, there’s more …

A few days after the Oh-My-God incident, one student thought it would be a great idea to play Speed Racer and plow through the open parking spaces at 40 mph. I’m driving normally down the regular paved paths and Speed Racer comes inches away from me slamming on his breaks. His face turns white from realizing that he almost whiplashed us both. Is it that surprising that cars will be driving on the paths made for cars? Do we need to include a parking lot safety class with admission?

Of course this kind of absurd driving happens everywhere, but especially at De Anza, not to mention the countless times that I’ve been sitting in my car when people ding their doors right into mine without remorse – parking lot sociopaths. How many times have we seen people drive fast, almost hit someone, and then rev their engine hard as if they were inconvenienced by the pedestrian?

I know an older man was recently killed while riding his bike by someone turning into the lot. A horrible tragedy that could have easily happened to a number of us all because of something so trivial: the cell phone, an iPod, thinking about being late for class, etc. We have taken for granted the responsibility that comes with the modern miracle of self transport, and we shouldn’t be so careless in such a modern area that promotes progress.

Is it not worth the risk to simply slow down and give ourselves an extra 10 seconds to get out of or into the parking lot? Are we as students that important that we need to risk lives in order to get to class or work? I’m not even sure that the president is that important.

People need to find other ways to express their freedom, anger and liberties with another method, because a condensed area full of moving cars and pedestrians seems to not be so bright. And if you’re one of those people, please try just a little harder, that way I don’t have to wear titanium body armor just to go to math class.

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