Tuesday, January 1, 2008

WIBNI If E1 Would STFU During Class?

I'm not in school at the moment there isn't much to talk about, so I thought I'd discuss issues about school that have come up in the past that gave me pause. Today I'm thinking about cell phones.

Last year our instructor had a rule that I loved. If a person's cell phone went off during class, the person had to bring snacks for the whole class the next time we had class. We only have 30 students in the class so it was doable. I don't think it would work in a class of 100 or so. If a phone rang a cheer went up in the class. There was no way we would let the person off the hook for bringing snacks. We were all over that.

Still, it helps to drive home the point that while cell phones are a technological marvel, people around you would appreciate if you would be considerate with regards to your cell phone.

1. Keep your cell phone off. Putting on vibrate is distracting.
2. If you have an emergency, the person will leave a message and you can call them back on break. Yes, you can wait a few minutes. Truly, what could you do in five minutes anyway? If your kid fell down and split his head open, whoever is responsible for him or her while you are in class can run him to the ER and you can meet them there. Five, ten minutes won't make that much difference.
3. If you feel it is absolutely necessary to answer the phone, please get up and leave the room.

I hate to sound like my grandmother, but I can't help it. When I was your age we didn't have cell phones. If there was an emergency, a person could call the school and someone could get the message to you. In my 20+ years in college this only happened once. I arrived in class and about 10 minutes into it, someone came in the room and handed the professor a slip of paper. She said "is License Pending in this class?" I said "Yeah, that's me." She said "Do you mind if we step outside for a second?" I thought I was in trouble but once we were out of the room, she told me my child was ill and I needed to go pick her up from day care. No need to announce the whole bloody affair in front of the class. We went back inside, I quietly gathered up my things and left. The next day a few nosy concerned classmates wanted to know what happened and I told them. Otherwise it was my business, I took care of it, and I didn't disrupt the whole class over my child's runny nose and fever.

I am delighted that more and more people use text messaging instead of talking. At first I didn't see the point. Why not just talk to the person and say whatever it is you want to say? After spending the holidays with my children, I see the beauty of it. While the family was having a conversation, my daughter could check her messages and send a text before it was her turn to talk again. No having to stand up and leave the room for a conversation. She could stay right where she was and enjoy our company all the while staying in touch with her friends.

I also noticed it when I was in the library. In the past cell phone conversation went something like this.

Bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep (insert ringtone of choice).
Hello? Hey. What's up? Oh nothing, just sitting here studying. What? Who? Oh really? No way! Yeah. Uh huh. Well tell him I'll be here for another 10 minutes or so. Uh huh. Uh huh. Yeah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Occasionally they would remember to get up and leave the room for the discussion, but mostly not.

Now I see people sitting quietly texting like mad, and I can study undisturbed by the ugly details of their lives.

Yay texting!

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