Suzi (k00kaburra) wrote,

Why go to class if you don't want or need to be there?

I thought I was going to have to throttle the girl sitting next to me in my fiction writing class. Last Thursday we had done an in-class assignment, to write a list of "the things we carry" on a daily basis. Skip had us read a single item off our lists - any item - and then the next person would read one, so on until we had each read three-five items in an unbroken chain. Sounded fun!

So the girl who sits next to me was reading a book. I wasn't paying that much attention to her, so I thought it was one of the textbooks and she was reviewing some concept. However, when the chain of items got to her (so far folks had carried keys, crosses, 'the golden flecks in my mothers eyes,' spare change, and an art portfolio) there was only silence. She was completely absorbed in her book, which appeared to be a novel, probably science fiction. I poked her and told her to name her item, and she looked confused. It turns out that not only had she missed her turn, she hadn't heard the directions for the activity AND did not do the in-class assignment last week. Come on! It was in class so you really have no excuse not to do it! So I tell her to just name something she carries every day and I think she said "my future." Sure, why not. I announce "my Visa" and the list goes on.

The chain continues and begins the second round. Once again, she's not paying attention and the story breaks down in her silence. She's reading the book again! Perhaps noticing the quiet, she glances up and says something that made no impression. Third round. Same game. This time I don't poke her; I just sit back and stare at her until Skip calls her name and asks her for something else she carries with her. She looks completely blank and finally comes up with "...stuff?" Truly inspired.

I was so annoyed with her. It is so disrespectful to the teacher to ignore the class completely. Don't get me wrong; I totally understand when you're completely absorbed in a book and just don't want to leave its world. That's fine. It's great when that happens, a magical feeling. But come on! If you're going to ignore the teacher, and you aren't going to do the activities, don't bother coming to class. Seriously. This class is an elective, no-one needs to take it for a major.
If someone's tired and spaced out, and they miss some instructions because their brain flitted out for a moment, it's not so bad. But if you aren't even trying or pretending to pay attention, just stay home!

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