Commuter Corner: The Traveler Games

Commuter lots offer different thoughts to different people. For the author, it reminds her that her car isn't far away. And where her car is, there is also Katniss Everdeen. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

I run to my car now, knowing Katniss is right there waiting for me.

Okay, I know my drive will seem shabby to some, but driving 40 minutes to and from UConn five days a week is incredibly boring for me. As a result, I’ve had to adapt.  My usual method was just to run the radio while I drove the six minutes to work or the four minutes to high school.  During the 15-minute drive to church, I would sometimes pop a CD in, but that was the extent of me trying to occupy myself during a drive. Coming to UConn changed that simple method completely.

I tried the radio, but that got old within a week. I tried some new CDs, but I quickly got sick of the songs.  I listened to sermons, tried some talk shows, and even considered recording my notes and playing them again on my phone. I was tempted to play games on the trip, but I’m already a bad enough driver with both hands on the wheel.  I even invited my younger siblings to cut school and come with me, just to keep me company on the drive.  They liked the idea, but my parents weren’t buying it.  

The fact is: when I have only one class a day that lasts half the time of my overall commute, I can’t stand it. The whole idea of how pointless sitting in a car for an hour and a half doing absolutely nothing of value drove me crazy. I am a type-A personality if there ever was one, yet, here I am, spending more time staring at roads than writing notes.

It wasn’t until I stopped by my local library that I found an interesting way to pass the time in my car. As I watched the little girl I was babysitting start to play with the puzzles, I looked at all the familiar titles in the kids section. As we moved onto the dollhouse section, the teen books came into view, and I gingerly walked past the rows, remembering the hours I would spend here. I came to a small section crushed between two bookcases, and recognized titles such as “The Twilight Saga” and “The Hunger Games.” There were many other stories that I faintly remembered, as well as some new books I had not yet read.

But they weren’t books in the normal sense. They were in a CD form, and I guess I’d never really considered them before this. I’d thought about eBooks, but since my car is too old for an auxiliary cord, I didn’t want to have to play them through the soft speakers of my phone. But here the books of my youth were, waiting for me to try them out.

I picked up a case for “The Hunger Games” and turned it around in my hands, wondering if it was worth the trouble. A “Thomas the Tank Engine” DVD was chosen by the little girl, and with my two selections I headed out to bring her home.  The next morning, I started playing the CDs.

The transformation is strange.  I don’t think I should be this obsessed with a series I read years ago, but I can’t deny the impact having these discs has made on my commute.  No longer am I staring listlessly at the usually empty roads; I now am driving past Katniss’ arrows and dodging the other tributes.  Pretty soon I’ll be speeding along with the vampires and chasing Bella’s destiny.  Perhaps I’ll make it to the grown-up section of the library someday with all of its fancy titles, but right now I’m content spending many hours with my middle school heroes.


Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hannah.desrosiers@uconn.edu