Concentration

Having enough foibles of my own tends to make me pretty tolerant of the foibles of others, and this is why I consider myself one of the most tolerant people on the planet. One thing, though – as the great Peter Griffin says – “really grinds my gears.”

In lectures I tend to park myself somewhere near the back – not so that I can throw balls of paper or chat with my confreres, but so that I can be sure to see and hear the lectures properly. Sitting at the back, though, I also see what the other ‘kids’ get up to. You know – all the lovey-dovey stuff, the hand-holding, the snoozing, and the ever-present computer distractions.

For example, last year in my PR class one girl spent almost every lecture checking out the latest fashions online – dresses, shoes, bras – you name it. Let’s just say that because of her I occasionally found it hard to concentrate. Then just last week I watched, incredulous, as a girl in my Communications and Culture class spent an entire lecture chatting with one or several of her friends on Facebook! That’s an hour and a half on Facebook that should have been an hour and a half of studious concentration. My neighbour saw it too. A nice, serious young lady named Ange. She said: “You can sure tell who’s paying for her tuition!” meaning, of course, that Daddy signed the cheque because there’s no way you’d waste your time like that if the money was coming out of your own pocket!

It drives me crazy because it belittles both the process of securing a university degree and the value of it once it is secured. Why wouldn’t Facebook (especially) step up and encourage students to concentrate on their work? It seems to me that there’s plenty of time for the social stuff later on, but during class, the important thing should be the material at hand.

J.

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