Rachel writes: Astute commute?

I discovered that a member of the literature seminar I’m participating in this term drives in, I overheard him say, from New York. And he drives back the same evening, after class–that’s about 4 hours each way.

And I thought Brookline was a schlepp.

I commute to Harvard Square from work in the Back Bay,  on the green and red lines. I can usually manage a few pages of reading on the way in. Since I finish work at 4PM, and my class begins at 5:30, I can fit in a quick trip to one of the Harvard libraries before class, if I need to.

On the way home to Brookline, often I prefer the train over the bus, especially if it’s cold out, though a bus line runs directly from Harvard Square to about a block from where I live. (The bus stop in Harvard Square is near the churchyard across from the Harvard gate nearest to Massachusetts Hall, and if I’m taking the bus home, I like to pay my respects as I stroll by to one of its occupants, Washington Allston, Harvard class of 1801, and one of America’s most important painters. The Boston neighborhood of Allston is named for him.) I rather like the extra minutes on the train to decompress and read a bit more.

I suppose even a 4-hour commute can become routine. Commuting time, long or short, routine or varied, is a good opportunity for reading–or if you are driving and need to focus on the road–for reflection.

I haven’t yet taken any courses online. I likely will, eventually; but I think I may miss my commuting time.


  1. Posted September 22, 2009 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Great post, I can relate. I used to commute from NYC too, by bus though. The Bolt bus service is excellent, with power outlets and wireless internet I could get quite a bit of work done. I moved up here now with my wife and we are both taking classes. I reflect back upon my old schedule often, like when I am cozy in bed and I imagine I used to be at the bus station waiting for the next bus or better still when I missed the 2 AM China town bus and would have to sleep in the station till the 7AM bus, makes me laugh.

    The online courses are great, you should definitely try it; it’s great for snowy days when you just don’t want to go outside because it is so cold. Being at home in your pajamas eating ice cream watching class and pausing the stream when you need to go back for seconds on the mint chocolate chip is by far the most comfortable classroom experience you can have. But when you sit in on the actual class and then you get to go out to dinner with a small group of the other class members, teachers assistants and even Steve the video technician who shoots the online video from class, thats pretty cool too 🙂

  2. Holly Bogatay
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree….I live in DC so i dont really have a choice, but pressing pause to do whatever it is….it’s nice! OH, and if you miss something….just “rewind” it!

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