Driving: A Rebuttal

An objective review of Magnet’s driving etiquette


Marshall Fleming, Talon Staff Writer


Just as a quick introduction, you, the reader, should know that this article is a response to an article in the January issue of the SOA Newspaper, Applause by student writer, Ryan Hinske. (to the left of this article). Fellow Talon writer, William Hyatt, and I were classmates of  Ryan  at Daniel Island School –  so shout out to him.

Since my early days at Magnet I have been a part of the after school madness. At first, I was a freshman running to cars in order to get a seat to baseball practice. Sophomore year, when I was finally able to drive, I had an awful parking lot spot that resulted in my doing my best rendition of John Ross’s NFL combine 4.22 second 40-yard dash. When we were taken into the “Dark Ages” per se, of quarantine and 2020 in general, we were briefly shielded from the cut-throat parking lot race.

I had an awful parking lot spot that resulted in my doing my best rendition of John Ross’s NFL combine 4.22 second 40-yard dash

Returning to school as a junior landed me a much better spot; however, I was poor at navigating the parking lot. Thankfully, we were gifted a 2:00 early-out on B days, so I could plan my quickest route to the exit. After being screwed out of so many positions in line on A days, I realized that no matter how much planning I did, or how fast I ran, I would always have to drive a little more “aggressive” than I would like. 



We have to be more aggro than we would like for a few reasons:

  1. We have roughly 100 more students than SOA (according to U.S. News online).
  2. We have to drive nearly, if not double the distance than SOA students.
  3. We observe natural selection as a fact.
  4. We understand that it’s never in our or anyone else’s best interest to hit anyone.

Since I did not take AP Statistics and I have no time to conduct an experiment (because I’m already out of the parking lot) I figured I would do a little in-depth analysis on each of these points. I’m going to go ahead and knock out points one and two in one paragraph because they go hand-in-hand. Since Magnet is an objectively larger high school, we are going to have more student drivers, which means more cars, which means more traffic. I think the parking lot overcrowding is so bad that the sophomores have begun parking in the neighborhood again just to get home quicker. Additionally, since our side of the parking lot is bigger (including the back row near the exit), the walking distance greatly varies. Some people speed walk the 25 yards to their cars; others do a dead sprint nearly 100 yards. While some are walking shorter distances, they are driving further. Others are running to make up the time; they run to their car and have a shorter drive out of the lot. There is a balance. 

On the subject of natural selection, there are two sides. On one side, is the driver who knows that no one is dumb enough to jump out in front of them because it’s not worth it. On the other side, there are those who know that it’s not in anyone’s best interest to hit them, because it’s not worth it. While these opposing views sit at opposite ends of a spectrum, I would say that most Magnet students lie in the more moderate areas. Of those who roam the parking lot after 3:30, only the fittest, physically and mentally get out quickly. 

You must always remember what is in your and their best interests. It’s super unlikely that people get in a wreck because someone is always more cautious and concedes. Think of the parking lot as a huge game of “Chicken”. If you’re willing to be more daring, it is more likely that you’ll be rewarded. Now I am not encouraging people to drive recklessly and get in wrecks, thus making our parking lot traffic even worse. But I am saying to keep your head on a swivel and pay attention. Don’t have your head buried in your phone either; it’s so annoying.

Ryan’s last, yet most important point is something I have to point out. He says “Let us not show hostility to our brothers and sisters that share our home… Let us join hands together and raise questions about the limited exits of our campus”. I couldn’t agree more with this. Instead of working against each other, we’ve got to work together to make change. Ryan’s idea about potentially adding another exit to the parking lot is valid as well. Moreover, as student drivers we must unite against the parents that park and drive through the student lot after school. It is so frustrating to see people parked on the sides of the parking lot or even coming into the lot when everyone is leaving. 

So Magnet drivers, let’s refocus our frustrations. Take the rage off the pavement and to school officials. Let us be grateful to our neighbors and make sure to let parents know they can’t park in the student parking lot.