Thursday, January 24, 2008

From the Back of the Class

Story number one:

I am a front-of-the-class sitter. I go straight from one class to the next without dilly-dallying in order to get a front and center seat, especially in the classes that I like. Today, however, because I had to switch buildings in between classes, I was on time to my Gothic Novel class as opposed to early, which meant all the decent seats were taken. All the half decent seats were taken. All the somewhat decent seats were taken.

I had to sit in the very back behind at least seven rows of people.

I am short. I could hardly see the teacher. I like to participate a lot in class. This is difficult to do if you are short and sitting in the back and unable to see the teacher.

This is what it is like to be in a big class and be sitting in the back:

1. It is hard to see the teacher
2. People around you are talking
3. It is hard to feel part of the class discussion
4. It is like you are in your own 'back of the class' little world
5. It is very conducive for not paying attention and doing other things during class (such as, my personal favorites, writing stories and poetry)
6. It is not very conducive for being an active participant in the class itself

The moral of this story: learn to Apparate between school buildings in order to get to class early

Story number two:

Last night, I had a class in advertising copywriting. It's quite a fun class. We watched famous commercials and for homework we have to write an ad for vitamin water. I'm still trying to come up with an idea that isn't corny (corny being...having popeye holding vitamin water instead of spinach, things like that). But anyway, when I got to this class, I was early enough to get a seat in the front, and it was quite a good seat overall, but it was on the side. Why was this a problem? Well, like my Gothic novel class, this class is rather large. At the start of class, we went around the room saying our names, majors, and favorite commercials or moments from movies or lyrics from songs or just something memorable to us, but most people did their favorite commercials.

Well, not only was I on the side of the room, but I was on the wrong side. 'Going around the room' started from the other corner, which meant I was near last (luckily, I was not the last, there were two or three people after me). That meant that I had to sit through around twenty-something other people's favorite commercials before I would get to say mine - and what if they all took my ideas! Luckily they didn't (mine were M&Ms and cereal commercials, and the Folger's song), but the feeling was one of intense impatience. The fact of the matter was, I couldn't care less what the other people's favorite commercials were. I just wanted to say mine!

This is a common phenomenon - that people are sometimes much more eager to share about themselves than they are to listen to other people, or at least, it's much harder to listen to someone else when you're bursting with things to say than when you've already said it all and have the presence of mind to then listen to others (and the insurance that they can no longer steal your thoughts or ideas). And isn't it rather odd that a person can feel her idea stolen from her? If she thought of it independently of everyone else, but someone else expresses the same idea first, the other girl is seen as copying her, or feels as though she is, but really she is not, she just did not have the opportunity to express her thought or idea first.

This is known as the ME TOO syndrome. Do you find yourself constantly saying, "me too!" and wishing you had spoken first so that you'd be the one credited with the original idea?

Fear of this crept up within me as I waited ever so patiently for the 'around the room' game to reach my row of desks. It took a rather long time. Even though I was not in the back of the class, it felt as though I was. I was at the end of the class. It was not a fun place to be.

The moral of this story: gain ESP to know which corner of the classroom the teacher will call on first


Jew from the Desert said...

"Every person's favorite topic is him/herself."

Most people have a lot to say on the topic, and as one gets older there is evermore to add.

"Me Too" isn't too terrible unless you truly feel like you have to differentiate yourself from others by saying something specifically original (probably because you see yourself as intensely creative and original) or someone "takes away your cards" by saying ALL of it first.

This is where that ESP would come in handy, or enable you to do so instead of being the recipient.

*"Evil" Laugh*

the apple said...

LOL. I loved this post.

people are sometimes much more eager to share about themselves than they are to listen to other people, or at least, it's much harder to listen to someone else when you're bursting with things to say

ME TOO!!!!!!!!

Especially in English classes. I'm always so scared that someone will say my brilliant and incisive points! And saying, "Hey that's what I was going to say!" just doesn't cut it because people don't always believe you. Hmph.

Bas~Melech said...

Um... I hate to say this now... but...

Me too.

Ezzie said...

I knew I forgot to comment somewhere! :)

Firstly, your lessons are awesome! :)

Okay, so: As a constant back of the class sitter, I am going to agree with #s 1 through 6 and say that those are exactly why we botc sitters LIKE it there! :D

And I must add my own "ME TOO!" to the second story, but note that I used to get around that by listening to what the people liked about the reasons they were stealing from me, and then give an added twist to it. Sometimes I'd do that even when they didn't steal from me, but that's because I'm too lazy to think of my own stuff. :P

Anyway, I just wanted to say...

'Look, a shark!'

fudge said...

see, i can't believe that people like us bloggers here are the only ones who feel that way. don't professors get it? don't they figure out that when you have twenty-odd girls, the ONLY thing any of them are thinking about is when is it gonna be their turn?

well said, erachet! hi ho!