{shortcode-9640f3072d060150a1587d5ca3c6fc670a003aa7}Describe the Quad in one phrase? While residents might say that it’s fun, tight-knit, and a real community, outsiders might claim that the Quad is “so far away.”

The Quadlings’ retort? “Mather is just as far.”

However, we here at Flyby stand by facts and logic. We don't just blindly agree to statements: we put them to the test. So I did the only thing I could: I made trips to the Quad and Mather just to walk all the way back to the Yard from them. And my findings may surprise you.

Part I: The Walk from Mather to the Yard

Disclaimer: I lived in Dunster during the fall of my freshman year so I am a little bit too familiar with the walk from Mather to the Yard. I have a lot of experience walking this route, which may contribute to my ability to walk it easily. The average non-Quadling (or at least River West person) is also more familiar with this area of campus than with the Quad, which may also contribute to my ease of walking from here to the Yard. I got to Mather House at 8:01 p.m. on a Monday night.

The familiar walk from Mather to the Yard was relatively painless thanks to the little path that cuts through the street next to Leverett Towers, to my familiarity of the area, to my luck catching streetlights and to the lack of people around at 8 p.m. on a Monday. The walk was quick and enjoyable — especially because I was only walking to the closest gate in the Yard (which happens to be the one right by Lamont). It was not long enough for me to get sweaty from walking!

I walked from ~just~ inside the Mather Gate to the threshold of the aforementioned Yard Gate in 4 minutes and 41 seconds. I will grant this walk an estimated one-minute margin of error due to the potential of being caught at streetlights.

Part II: Walking from the Quad to the Yard

I am much less familiar with the Quad. From my brief investigation on Google Maps, the fastest way from the Quad to the Yard is walking along Garden Street, across the Commons, and along Cambridge Street by Littauer and the Science Center Plaza until you get to the Yard gate closest to the overpass by Holworthy.

I got to the Quad (well, the SOCH) at 5:34 p.m. on a Tuesday. Already, I noticed a few things that would likely hinder my walk. First, there were a lot more people walking to and from the Quad at this time, making the streets busier. Secondly, there were a lot more cars, meaning I would spend more time waiting for them to pass. Contrary to popular belief, if a random car strikes you, you won’t get tuition money, so while I kept my eyes peeled for Harvard Shuttles, I avoided regular cars.

The other issue is that the Quad and the Yard are separated by a few major intersections and the overpass, meaning that there are a lot more traffic lights on this route. I spent precious minutes just waiting for the cars to drive by to finish my trip.

I managed to walk from the midway point of the SOCH steps to the closest gate in the Yard in 7 minutes and 32 seconds. This walk merited a two-minute margin of error to account for people coming from different houses and light fluctuations.

Part III: Conclusions and Future Direction

Overall, the walk from the Quad to the Yard’s minimum time, accounting for margin of error, is 5 minutes and 32 seconds, which overlaps with the walk from Mather House to the Yard’s maximum time, which, adjusting for the margin of error, can be up to 5 minutes and 41 seconds. However, due to the multitude of factors that could impede the walk from the Quad to the Yard, I will make the conclusion that the Quad is in fact further from the Yard than Mather House. However, if you’re just trying to go to the Science Center, then we have a clear winner: the Quad.

You might notice that my times are a bit fast. You might say, “Matylda! It took me 20 minutes to walk from Mather to the Yard!” I promise that I have better things to do with my life than lie about the time I took walking between random parts of campus. I am simply a #certified fast walker — and from New York City. However, here are some tips for walking quickly from a New Yorker if you are in a hurry, want to appear unapproachable, and/or simply like having more free time:

1. Put down your heel first when you are walking. This of course assumes you are not wearing heels. I have no tips for walking quickly in heels, but if someone does, please send them to me <3.

2. Swing your arms a little. Not obnoxiously, but enough to counteract your footwork and keep your pace comfortable.

3. Safety permitting, take liberty with the streets. Instead of walking straight across the crosswalk, cross it at an angle. This is a real life application of the Pythagorean Theorem for those of us who don’t know math: your walking distance will be shorter!

Regardless, now that spring is rapidly approaching (please let this be true), I encourage you to enjoy your walk regardless of how long it is, and slow down a bit. Save the speedy walking tips for when you’re really in a rush or when you just missed a shuttle in the winter whether it be the Quad or Mather shuttle. We love both <3.