Thursday, May 1, 2008

What the Current Generation of College Students Does Not Know But Needs To

A disclaimer for those who have a hyperbole detector dysfunction: Generalizations and exaggerations abound. If you cannot cognitively digest such devices, turn back now.

1) When you are in class, it is rude to talk when the professor is speaking. You whisper poorly, and others can still hear you. This is distracting.

2) In hallways and on sidewalks, do not walk and text-message at the same time. It forces others to maneuver intentionally so as to avoid you.

3) According to Jean Piaget, egocentricity sharply declines by late childhood. Do not act in ways that may disprove his theory such as talking loudly on your cell phone right outside of the open door of an occupied lecture hall. Consider other people.

3) Listen to instructions. Read your syllabus. These things are not given so you can later loudly complain that the professor never mentioned there was a paper due today or that you should not type it in 10 point font.

4) Believe it or not, you have classmates who do not care to hear about how "totally wasted" you were last weekend. This does not make you seem "cool". Rather, it makes you sound like an imbecile.

5) When you say you will be somewhere, follow through. Consistently arriving nonchalantly one hour late is not a wise modus operandi.

6) When you use words and phrases compulsively and without purpose such as "um", "like", "ya know", and that ridiculous sentence conclusion, "I know, right?", you waste time, sound, and air. It is painful to listen to you.

7) Do not use 21st century jargon such as "way huge", "totally cool", "super important", etc. in your papers. Not only does it grieve some of your peer reviewers, it would give your 4th grade English teacher a heart attack.

8) Seeing who can cram the most obscenities into a spoken sentence is not a competition. If it were, the only possible prize would be to lose any and all credibility with the reasonably articulate public.

9) "That is like, so f##*ed-up" is not a counterargument. If you have a problem with a claim, formulate a coherent and respectful objection in your mind before blurting out a discourse-killer such as the aforementioned verbal atrocity. If no such lucid objection can be constructed, then keep your mouth shut.

10) If you come in twenty minutes late to a class, don't climb over the entire note-taking public to reach front and center, only to loudly take off your backpack, jacket, and I-pod and to slam your skateboard on the floor.

11) You will likely increase your lifespan if you look up when crossing the road at a blind corner. It is much easier to stop walking than to slam on the brakes of a car going 30 mph. You may also actually lower the heart rates of area drivers.

12) When you drive like a maniac, it frightens people. A median is not something to be conquered in your Ford F-350 on monster-truck wheels. Furthermore, an icthus on the bumper does not grant you permission to drive 40 mph through the campus parking lots. In the same spirit of the above charge, you will allow area drivers to return to driving relatively peacefully.

13) The internet does not develop your social skills. Rather, it can turn you into an anonymous sniper with chronically undeveloped arguments. This obnoxious and rude style of interaction has a tendency to find its way into the three-dimensional world.

14) When someone at the front of the room starts talking, that is your cue to stop talking.

15) Your presentation was not greatly improved because you indiscriminately inserted transition words such as "however" and "therefore" where there was no such transition. Words have functions. They are not able to be placed anywhere.


Daniel said...

16. If computers are allowed in the classroom by the professor (God forbid) please do not surf the web checking out or myspace/facebook. You are there to learn and the professor (should) spend a lot of time and mental capacity preparing to teach YOU!

My current educational institution has a problem with this. In Groothuis classes no less!! Oi...

Sarah Scott said...

Good one! I couldn't agree more. Instant messaging during class is quite distracting for people sitting behind you as well.

Jon said...

I like 13 and 15 the best.

I have to admit, I do violate 16, but I purposefully stay at the back of the class when I do so as not to distract anyone. Forgive me! I'm three classes from graduating; grace will have to be extended.

Doug Groothuis said...

Miss Manners strikes again! Manners matter because people matter.

Good show.