Crash Course in Lecture Etiquette

Oh, just admit it: nobody’s a perfect student. There’s always an exception to the rules, but keep these from becoming patterns!:

Rule 1) More than 20 minutes late to a morning lecture? Don’t bother. We’ll assume you speed-walked on your walk-of-shame, and that your bed-head hair is natural, not something you teased intentionally. Inevitably, you’ll get a death stare from the professor for being rude. Unless you’re coming from a meeting, you’re humiliating yourself, go back to bed.

Rule 2) Sitting more than 5 seats in from the aisle? Hold your pee. Nothing more embarrassing than having a bunch of annoyed people fold their desk-tops and stand as you awkwardly perform an intimate square-dance to get by.

Rule 3) If you act like a 14 year-old high school girl excitedly “whispering” about X Factor or who shifted who last night, either re-evaluate your skill level in talking quietly, or just wait until after. If it’s desperately important like what party you’re going to tonight, or how awkward it is that “he” is in this lecture, just write a good, old-fashioned note, and Origami yourself a paper airplane.

Rule 4) No meals over 1 course. An occasional apple or granola bar is no issue. The following are unacceptable (and have been personally witnessed): steaming, shoe-sized baked potato with shredded cheese, sour cream, and bacon; Cinnabon dripping with mouth-watering frosting; award-winning (by smell) lasagna; Chinese food; take-away Irish breakfast, along with many others. Break this rule, and you’ll have an auditorium of hungry people jealously watching you scarf down a lunch (which isn’t pleasant, because hungry, jealous people can be mighty dangerous).

Rule 5) Don’t pack your bag until class is actually over! Often, a lecturer gives important reminders right before you leave about upcoming assignments, etc., and we can’t hear her over your slamming books and chainsaw-rivaling LL Bean backpack zipper.

Rule 6) Texting. I can barely justify an occasional message sent on a silent iPhone, but responding to a flock of emails on a Blackberry is murder! Each press of the poorly designed keys reminds me of the jack-hammer construction being done on the Student Union. Did they test those things on hard-of-hearing senior citizens? Also, “vibrate” is not the same as “off” or “silent”. We can still hear it.

Rule 7) Please explain bringing your laptop. We all know you’re going to creep your friends and “fr-enemies” on Facebook, so drop the act. While the lecturer can’t see your screen, remind yourself that all of us sitting behind you have eagle-eye creeping views, and we don’t even have to do the clicking! At the same time, if you’re on StumbleUpon, Texts From Last Night, or this awesome blog, you’re not actually using your laptop to type faster than you write.

Rule 8 ) Did you take high school health class? Even if you think you’re being sneaky, don’t pick your nose. Don’t cut your nails. Wear deodorant.

Any questions? Class dismissed!

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