I started my trip at 10AM Saturday morning at the campus center. I arrived a few minutes before the shuttle was scheduled to leave, and what a good decision that was. At 10:00AM on the dot, we were off. However, before we even started moving I had already picked up on something anthropologically significant.
At exactly 10AM, a student was waiting for his friend to arrive at the Joey. This was obvious as he was having a stressful conversation while holding his arm outstretched, a couple feet outside the Joey. This seemed strange, as who was this one underclassman to hold up everyone else. When it became apparent that his friend would not make it in time, he waved the Joey away, dismissing it. Even though the shuttle to Harvard has only been running for the last few months, people have already developed a sense of entitlement. Even though the student could have taken the regular Joey to Davis 15 minutes later and hopped on a free MBTA shuttle there, he still acted as though the Harvard shuttle leaving on schedule was personally inconveniencing him.
My ride in was fairly uneventful. We took the main roads through the early morning light traffic to Davis, then Porter, and finally ending at Harvard Square. Interestingly enough, nobody got off the shuttle at Davis or Porter, which are usually hot destinations. It seemed that everyone who made the effort to get up relatively early on Saturday morning had a plan, and that involved Harvard – either to interact with that square or to take the train deeper into the city.
My fellow shuttle passengers were your typical Saturday morning crowd. A pair of girls were going out to breakfast. They hadn’t made plans yet but were going to look at cafes once they got to Harvard. Another student was on a shopping trip, as evidenced by the eco-friendly reusable shopping bags he carried with him, neatly folded in his lap. The final passenger – other than myself – looked to be a Harvard student who had visited a friend at Tufts on Friday night. Crimson sweatshirt, Harvard sweatpants, and a clear struggle with a hangover easily identified this traveler as an underclassmen at the university to which he was traveling.
There was not a whole lot to do on the ride in. I decided to follow our path with the GPS on my phone. Notoriously inept at remembering street names and directions, this would help me get my bearings – it turns out that the Tufts Joey shuttle followed the same path as the MBTA shuttle. There was only so much observation of my fellow four passengers I could make without seeming creepy, so I focused on what was going by me. We passed all the familiar bus stops, and it was almost off-putting to cruise right by without picking anyone up. Soon enough, we made it into Harvard Square. Everyone departed and dispersed in separate directions.