Buzz Kill: No manners in the classroom

Walter Smith-Randolph

Welcome back! Now that Father Peter greets you every time you log onto and reminds us that summer is over, let’s talk about some classroom etiquette.

1. You know what I’m talking about. There is always that guy who can’t seem to get over his new Blackberry that he got over the summer or that one girl who is always 15 minutes late. You simply don’t want to be that girl or guy, so I have compiled a few rules that we should all follow to ensure that we’re not that girl or that guy.

2. Don’t be late, and if you’re going to be late, be subtle about it. Some people don’t understand what a 10:30 a.m. class means. It doesn’t mean 10:40 a.m., it doesn’t mean 10:50, it means 10:30 a.m.. Now, we all understand that things happen and sometimes you’re running behind schedule, but there has got to be a cut-off time of when it is acceptable to walk into class. I think that time is 15 minutes, at max. After that, it is just ridiculous. Also, if you’re chronically late, set your alarm clock about 15 minutes early because people will start taking bets on what time you’re going to arrive at class. I’m one of those people.

3. Put the Blackberry away! Text messaging is a vital means of communication for our generation. But we should know by now how to text and get away with it. So, if you have a massive phone, figure out a way to text your girlfriend without getting the rest of us caught.

4. We know you’re not taking notes, and we can see it. If you’re going to surf the Internet in class, please don’t visit sites such as Perez Hilton that are going to make me laugh; I can’t help it! On top of that, we really don’t need to know how awesome your weekend was and your entire social life based on your AIM convo… or to witness the AIM breakup; it’s just not worth the humiliation.

5. When it is 11:20 a.m. and the professor asks, “Does anyone have any questions?” don’t you dare respond. No one has any questions, and if you do, wait until we all leave. I’ve got to get from Bartley to St. Mary’s in 10 minutes, and I don’t need to wait to hear the answer to a question that could be answered by looking at the syllabus.

6. Do not ask me what I got on my test. We stopped doing that in the sixth grade. I don’t want to tell you what I got. It’s just that simple.

7. Please keep the personal stories to a minimum unless they are absolutely relevant. I don’t want to hear about that time at the Shore when some guy asked you a totally random question when we’re discussing the Theory of Relativity. If the entire class knows the name of your entire family by the end of the course, you are that guy.

8. Do not be the “re-stater.” Do not sit back and chat on AIM the entire class and then restate what everyone just said in your own words in an attempt to make yourself look like a genius. We all know you are not.

If we all follow these simple rules, then I am sure that we can all have a great classroom experience. If you are not laughing at this, then you are probably that guy. We all violate one of the rules, but you can recover. It will be OK.