Thursday, June 01, 2006

College Etiquette (from a college student's perspective)

As I was sitting in my Digital Journalism class today, half way listening to my professor, I began reading a blog about a college professor reminiscing over the past thirty years of his life he has spent in a classroom and now he is actually considering retiring to work at Wal-Mart.

At first I was thinking...what is this guy talking about...why would you leave your job of teaching to inform Mrs. Miller that ketchup bottles are on aisle three and if she buy's one this month she can get the second one half off, with a free pack a weenies.

As I glanced up at my professor...doing everything he could to capture the attention of ten anxious college kids, (even locking-out all of our computers) I realized how incredibly rude a group of young adults could be, without out even realizing it. (Our mommies would not approve of his behavior. Why should our teachers?)

As I sat, looking around the room...everyone was preoccupied by at least two things at once. Whether it was a cell phone, a doodle pad...or just simply smacking their gum and looking at facebook pictures, everyone's minds seem to be drifting away (somewhere outside the classroom that is.)

I don't think it had anything to do with what the professor was saying up there.... he could have been talking about bisexuals in Malaysia and no one would have noticed. The point is, it wasn't what the professor was saying or not saying, it was that the students were too preoccupied or distracted with other media-related things to appreciate the informative content coming out of the teachers mouth.

Not one of those students would go into a job interview or work for a corporation and act like they didn't care what their boss thought of them if they wanted a paycheck at the end of the week.

I believe a lot of students have this horrible preconceived perception of how school is defined in their minds and therefore, they are simply not willing to embrace it.

In other words, we were forced to attend school for twelve long, lingering years...learning the same subjects over and over again and then we graduate and go to college to make something of ourselves (but really it just feels like more school.)-It was mere torture in some cases.

I honestly think that I've always loved school, but for some reason I have been afraid to admit it until now. If my mom had told me I could stay home from school (in sixth grade) and help her clean the house for guests, I’d jump on the offer immediately.

I always made great grades and almost all my teachers remember me. I made an impression in someway almost every year in school. But I couldn’t recall even a quarter of my teacher’s names or faces...Now that's sad.

But until I hit college, I never really learned much of anything, besides the basics. I don't know if it was that my brain hadn't fully developed or that my level of thinking was rather minimal...but I was always determined to make that A; and be the best.

When I left that prison hole (grade school) and entered college. I felt this sort of liberation or freedom to do as I please. I could pick my own set of classes, I could miss class and no one would care, I never had to ask to go the bathroom, or raise my hand to talk. At first, it was kind of scary in a way...I had no one surveillance my every move.

As I look back on my college career and all of that freedom I had, I realized that I have picked up on some bad habits (and I'm not the only one.) This need for constant "stimulation overload," TV , internet/computers, I-pod , cell phones , laptop's ) as I like to call it.


Technology has persevered and as a result people, especially young adults, have become fixated on gadgets and new software or anything that will make something go in half the time as before.

Technology has made business transaction faster, leisure time faster, social life faster and people have learned that instant gratification is now possible.

Since the millennium, I think that people's lifestyles have changed. People have become more stressed out, worried, depressed, in a rush against time...and I think technology may be the reason. Attention deficit disorder (ADD) is also on the rise (or used as an excuse) and college students have become impatience and dissatisfied if there are not instant results.

Nowadays, when I sit down to read a book it is so hard to like it. I have forced myself to stare at a page for as long as it takes before I could grasp what I was reading. My attention span for slow paced readings and a teacher standing at the front of the room lecturing is lessening by the minute and I am determined to get it back.

I love technology and what it has done in my lifetime but I have suffered the consequences of constant stimulation. (Whenever I do Homework, the TV is on, my cell phones going off; I'm looking up movie times and the radio's blasting.)

Back then, my mom says she was happy and proud to put herself through college..."not everyone was as privileged as I was," she said...and receive such a reputable degree...I hope I feel that same way when I end this chapter of my life and in the meantime I will respect my professors as if they were doing me favor and spread the word.

The bottom line is, college students misbehavior in classrooms is getting out of hand. Students should pay to go to college because they want to gain knowledge and learn skills for the future. But not only that, they learn to treat their teachers with pure and utter respect for taking the time (and the low pay cuts) to fill young minds with knowledge and advice they won't get anywhere else. What if their boss was standing up there?

3 Comments:

Blogger Dennis G. Jerz said...

Excellent post. I blogged my own reaction at http://jerz.setonhill.edu/weblog/permalink.jsp?id=4336

I hope you keep writing.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous charlotte said...

good thoughts. definitely true about students' disrespect toward professors. also true about technology and constant overstimulation. your last paragraph says it all.

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Fluff said...

insightful
what can we do?
I think we need to define and encourage polite behavior around our new technology.

1:05 AM  

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