If you’re reading this, I apologize – you’re probably not at the beach. In fact, you’re probably stuck in class, drowning in a stormy sea of boredom, desperately floundering for a brief gasp of entertainment. If you actually are reading this at the beach, drowning in a non-metaphorical sea, desperately floundering for a gasp of non-metaphorical air, I would strongly advise you to drop the Nexus and start swimming – or at the very least, read quickly. I digress; the point I’m trying to make is that school is really boring. The best part about going to class, besides leaving, is people watching.
You can tell a lot about people by their habits in class. There are rafts of indicators: from when they arrive, to where to they sit, to what they do – a person’s behaviors are an open window into their personality. The most primal aspects of human nature are on display: territorialism, social interaction, text messaging.
One of the more curious habits people have is that they sit in the same general area in class. They come in the first day, stake out their domain – occasionally urinating on it to be sure – and rarely stray from it. Maybe you like to sit in the back, as far from the action as possible. Or, maybe you just sit in the back because you have really good eyesight and you’re a big shot showoff. Maybe you feel most comfortable in an aisle seat: You can leave quickly and easily, there’s plenty of space, and you enjoy having people step on your feet. Maybe you’re more of a floor person – perhaps you grew up in a home without furniture, or possibly you’re pathologically antisocial, or, more likely, you just showed up late. The front row is, of course, reserved for TAs and sycophantic grade-crazed zombies.
Perplexingly, the closer a class is, the more consistently late I am to it. When I have a class in I.V. Theater, I’m regularly 10 minutes late. Conversely, when I have to saddle up the cruiser and do the Tour de Broida I’m 10 minutes early. Basically, the closer I am to my house, the stronger I feel the gravitational pull of the black hole of procrastination – and by “black hole of procrastination” I mean “smoking weed.”
Even more important than getting to class, is getting out of class. Nothing is more frustrating than a professor babbling on until the last possible second of class time. Don’t they get bored, too? These people need to relax; they work for the government – you don’t see Schwarzenegger holding office hours. If our elected A.S. reps want to do something useful, they should have professors’ microphones programmed to shut off automatically at the end of class. Just for good measure, we should also have them programmed to electrocute the professor. We could deliver electric shocks based on a majority system – every time over half the class hits a button, the professor gets a healthy jolt of AC. I guarantee you we’d never again have a midterm the day after Halloween.
Thanks to the ever increasing availability of portable technology, there has been an explosion of electronics in class – the Sidekick to my left is texting Snoop Dogg, the Sidekick to my right is texting Paris Hilton, and the guy with a Sidekick in front of me is texting his other Sidekick. Laptops abound, and the widespread wireless Internet is being used for exactly what the University had hoped: all Facebook, all the time. People sit in class, surrounded by 200 people, and they still want to see more face. People absolutely love to look at themselves.
The hardest part about going to class Spring Quarter is the finally perfect weather. Despite numerous inquiries, I have yet to hear a single compelling argument for why my afternoon discussion section can’t be held on the beach – notebook in one hand, frosty brew in the other. I’ll be texting with my feet.
David Fuad is a senior law & society and psychology major.