Friday, November 2, 2007

Hush, Hush, Keep It Down Now.......

My classmates would like for me to shut up.

I read a blog somewhere but gosh darn didn't save it. The blogger told the story of a middle-aged female know-it-all in her class who never stopped talking and never missed an opportunity to tell stories.

She could have been talking about me, but I'm not sure. I do answer a lot of questions in class, but as far as I know I don't launch into long-winded stories about my personal experience and how it relates to the lecture. At least not on purpose. I, too, am annoyed by over-sharing in the classroom. I want to get the relevant information nailed down to what will be on the test and nothing more. I, too, want to get the heck out of the class just as badly as my bar-hopping, mini-van drivin', second-shift working, pick-the-kids-up-from-school classmates. Even if all I'm going to do is go home, take a nap and watch Oprah, I'm just as eager to get to that as they are to get back to their lives.

For the first part of the semester I was sitting next to someone who has a really bad habit of asking questions during class. Unfortunately she doesn't ask the instructor these questions. She asks the person sitting next to her.

It goes something like this.

This is what the instructor said.

"Gliomas are malignant brain tumors that are classified by their cell types or their location. For example astrocytomas arise from neuroglolial cells. And if you'll recall there are two kinds of nerve cells which are neurons and neuroglolial cells. Anyway, astrocytes are a kind of neuroglial cell. But what is important to remember is that astrocytomas can form anywhere in the cerebral hemispheres. Then there are oligodendrogliomas are usually only located in the frontal lobes, and they are distinguishable from other gliomas because they are usually calcified."

This is what I heard:

Instructor: Gliomas are malignant brain tumors that are classified by their cell types or their location. For example astrocytomas...
Classmate: What?
Me: Astrocytoma.
Classmate: What?
Me: Astrocytoma.
Classmate: How do you spell that?
Me: Um....(initially trying to motion that is in the powerpoint up on the screen four feet high in front of the classroom.....then giving up) A-S-T-R-O....
Classmate: Oh yeah. Okay. I see it now. Is that an A or an O?
Me: It's an A.
Instructor:.......because they are usually calcified.

I would like for my classmate to shut up.

Every time she asks a question and I turn to answer her, I miss the next four things the instructor says.

I tried body language.

Classmate: What?
Me: (Looking fixedly to the front.)
Classmate: (Nudging me) WHAT?
Me: I'm sorry, I'm trying to listen.
Classmate: Oh. Well. It's a good thing I know you cause I know you're really not a bitch.

I tried talking to her before lecture.

Me: I know there are lots of things you miss during the lecture, but could you raise your hand and ask the instructor? When you ask me a question and I stop to answer you I miss the next thing she says. Okay?
Classmate: Okay. Yeah. Cool.
Later during lecture........
Classmate: What?
Me: (Putting finger to lips and pointing to the instructor.)
Classmate: What?
Me: (smacking self in forehead)

Since I couldn't get my wish that she would shut up, I resorted to looking for another empty seat in the class. I found one probably six seats away from where we were sitting and moved myself to that seat about two weeks ago.

One day I bumped into my questioning classmate during break and we had this conversation.

Classmate: I noticed you moved and I bet I know why.
Me: I know. I'm sorry. I really hated to move. I asked you to ask the teacher questions instead of me. I really need to concentrate or I get lost during the lecture.
Classmate: (Look of horror on her face) YOU MOVED BECAUSE OF ME?!?!

I don't know what she meant when she said "I bet I know why." I figured we were thinking the same thing. I was terribly, terribly wrong.

She hasn't spoken to me since.


FetchingGal said...

If that person bothering you during lecture is this dense when it comes to listening to you and your needs, how well are they going to be able to listen to their patients? I am so sorry you have had to put up with that. Maybe you could raise your hand and say something like "my classmate here has some questions about the lecture I cannot answer, since they are interfering with my learning and pestering me. Could you help them, professor so-and-so?" Maybe that would have gotten the point to your pestering classmate. Then again, probably note. Hang in there! Nursing school sucks, but you can do it!

License Pending said...

Hehe. Actually I'm in recovery from being too blunt. I never learned the art of using tact, but nursing school has forced me to learn how to talk to people without making them feel stupid.

To my credit it was a good attempt. I can't help it if the woman couldn't find a clue if it was served to her on a silver platter.

Thanks for the encouragement. I really needed to hear that after the week I've had.