Sit down, be humble (and stay seated)

STAYING SEATED and staying attentive until the end of class shows respect. Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement

As lecture draws to a close, it becomes evident that nearly everyone has somewhere to be. 

The familiar sound of papers being shuffled together, textbooks closing and backpacks being zipped can be heard throughout the room. The professor often speaks in a notably quicker and more frantic tone, trying to compete with the rising noise level while wrapping up the last topic of the day.

A vast majority of the professors at Newman are passionate about and thoroughly enjoy speaking on their subject of choice. When students pack up their belongings five minutes prior to the end of class, any third party can see that this cringe-worthy act is a metaphorical slap in the face. 

It says, “I’m not interested in what you’re talking about.”

Most professors are respectful of the 50-minute time constraints that bind daily lectures, as they’re aware of the fact that students only have 10-minute passing periods.

This isn’t to say that classes never exceed their scheduled time limits. Even so, the longest I’ve ever sat in a class past allotted time was maybe one or two minutes.

The farthest walk on campus – from Fugate to Eck Hall – is only a seven-minute commute at a leisurely stroll. 

With this in mind, it’s difficult to justify the argument that sitting attentively for an extra two minutes of lecture – nonetheless, the last five scheduled minutes of lecture – is going to make any student late to his next class.

Ironically, I often find that most of the students who were so eager to leave the lecture hall are the same individuals I see idly standing outside of other classrooms, or waiting for their order at Scooter’s just shortly thereafter. 

I realize most students at Newman are incredibly busy. Many are involved in multiple different activities on campus, some have jobs to attend, and still others commute for classes and have their own families at home. 

With a full plate of my own, I personally understand what it means to feel like there is always some place to be and something to be doing. 

Offering your undivided attention for a mere 50 minutes is not going to take away from the time you have to tend to your other obligations. Your professors may appreciate it more than you know, and you may learn something in those last five minutes that you wouldn’t have otherwise. 

This story first appeared in the February 1, 2018 issue of The Vantage.