Helen Wukasch begins all her walks to class by going down the enormous hill that is her driveway.
by Aisling Niestroy
Ever walk all around campus for class and think to yourself, “I can’t wait until I don’t have to walk this far everyday”? Don’t we all. I gave three people a pedometer for 2 days each: a undergraduate student, a soon-to-be graduate who is currently student teaching, and a Spring 2012 graduate who works full-time.
Helen Wukasch, a junior wildlife biology major and Psychology, walks to all but one of her classes. She has classes in the Supple Science Building, the Chemistry Building, Centennial Hall, Alkek Library, Derrick Hall and even as far as the Jowers Center. Wukasch’s classes are spaced out building and time wise. She doesn’t have any classes back to back, like she has in other semesters. This particular year, she even lived closer to campus than ever before.
“I did a lot more walking this semester than I have in the past and it kind of sucked because it took me longer to get to my classes but at least I got some exercise,” Wukasch said.
Wukasch used the pedometer to record her movements on a typical Monday and Tuesday class day. In the course of the two days, she walked a total of 3.7 miles. Wukasch also told me that she looked up the Walking Time Between Buildings and decided that they weren’t extremely accurate. Unfortunately, my pedometer isn’t accurate with time counter either so we couldn’t compare those to each other.
Jillian Wiatrek, an education major who will be graduating on Saturday, December 15, has spent the entire semester student teaching in Wimberly at Jacob’s Well Elementary. She was the student teacher for a third grade class and spent every day with them for almost three months.
“Being a student teacher was probably my favorite experience in college,” Wiatrek said. “I had a lot of fun last semester when I was doing my block, but this semester was better because I wasn’t taking any other classes and I could really get to know the kids on a deeper level.”
Wiatrek helped her teacher out a lot by leading the class to and from the cafeteria and playground everyday, and to the gym and music room on the days they attended those classes. She also walked around the classroom a lot throughout the day to give help when the students needed it. She usually took charge of the class at least once a week and taught them a lesson plan that she had created herself. During the course of two days, Wiatrek walked 6.30 miles around the school campus.
Nicholas Mecca, a graduate of psychology, started working full-time at San Marcos Treatment Center off Post Rd on June 4, 2012. He commonly works eight or 16-hour shifts, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., 3 to 11 p.m. or 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The Treatment Center is a place where children ages eight to 17 get sent for remediation by their parents or by the courts as a step before juvenile detention. Mecca works on a unit with 13 to 17-year-old boys who primarily have family and behavioral problems.
“A lot of my kids have really crappy families who don’t take good care of them and that’s the only reason they get sent here,” Mecca said.
Mecca mentioned that it was important to note that his unit is a TriCare unit, meaning that 90 percent of his boys from military families. The other 10 percent are usually private pay clients. On a normal day, Mecca has to keep record of where the boys are every 15 minutes, but really he has to know where they are and what they are doing all the time. In a span of two days, Mecca walked 11.14 miles around the Treatment Center.
Although I had expected the undergraduate student to be the one who walked the most, I was completely wrong. She walked the least of all three of my subjects. After conducting the experiment, Mecca and Wiatrek both said that they felt as though they were walking a lot more now than they had been around campus.
This is a Google Map of the different buildings that Helen walks to on a daily basis.
The above map is the grounds of the San Marcos Treatment Center, where Nick spends a lot of his days.
Jill drew a rough sketch of the different places she walks around with the kids she works with.