You Go, Hugh Jackman!

I'm usually a fan of the laid-back response--don't sweat the small stuff (I'm not saying I do this, by the way; just that I'm a fan of it). However, I completely and totally applaud Jackman's reaction:

Hugh Jackman Chides Cellphone Offender

One of the things that amazes me as a college instructor is the number of students who have no idea how to behave in a professional or even semi-professional environment. I really push my students to take care of business (bathroom, throwing out trash, checking messages) before class begins. However, I accept that sometimes there are emergencies (bathroom-wise, that is; as far as I'm concerned, there are precious few messages that can't wait fifty minutes to be checked).

What amazes me is how many students I have had to pull aside to say, "You really need to wait until I finish talking to get up to throw away your trash." The other day, I had just begun class; I was explaining a rhetorical mode and was about to introduce a video clip. A student in the front row got up and got ready to walk directly in front of me.

I stopped (first time I've done this; I usually wait and talk to the student privately) and said in a non-angry voice, "Hey, can you wait till I finish?"

The class laughed. The student stopped, startled, and said, "Okay" and went back to his seat.

I was pleased, but I was amazed that it happened at all. The rules I enforce are fairly basic--nothing extreme or ultra business-professional. And yet, there are a substantial number of students who don't seem to know that it's rude to walk in front of an instructor or classmate while that person is speaking, it's rude (and stupid) to leave the room while the instructor is explaining an assignment (wait until an opportune moment, people!), and it's rude to interrupt the teacher (wait until she's done talking!). It isn't even that the students are trying to push my buttons (that does happen). They honestly don't seem to know!

They are also, I'm sorry to say, on elementary school/high school potty time. I've never known so many people who couldn't hold it for two or ten or twenty or fifty minutes. I'VE GOT TO GO NOW is their mantra. Sometimes, this is because they are checking their cellphones in the bathroom, but a number of male students seem to have this "I'm bored, I think I'll go pee" bodily reaction to just about any occasion. If I wasn't such a stickler, I swear I'd have ten boys going pee about seven times each in a single fifty minute class.

So, kudos to Jackman!

(In defense of the current youthful generation, I need to state that "substantial" is about three to four students per class--of twenty-odd--so the majority of them know how to behave; however, the twenty percent still throw me.)

1 comment:

Cari Hislop said...

Amen! Go Jakeman. It's mega rude to leave a phone on ringer in a theatre. And for it to come during an intense part...that stupid ringing must have felt like a bullet to the actors. Some people!

As for your students...I don't remember people acting like that at college and University. Are people degenerating or is it that more people who don't belong in a University setting are going to College? Strange! Standing up in front of the teacher in the middle of a lecture to throw away garbage?
Why? The mind boggles! The only thing that makes sense is that, that idiot in the front row lives in their own head so much that the real world is unreal. Not a good sign!