I finally told my calculus class to shut up.
3 times a week for the past 8/9 weeks, I’ve sat in the noisiest class I’ve experienced so far at UCLA (or maybe even ever). I’d been sitting mid-classroom almost this entire time and have strained to hear what the professor is saying over the constant murmur of conversations around me. I’ve emitted a low “shhh” a couple of times and it’s done nothing. I’m not talking about the occasional question asked of the person next to you about something the professor just put on the board; I’m talking about continual “coffee house conversation”.
Today, I sat in the 3rd row (finally) to get away from the noise. Unfortunately, it didn’t fix the experience for me and the talking was at an all-time high behind me. Finally, I interrupted the professor with a raised hand and when he called on me I turned to the class and said,
" I don’t mean to be an asshole, but the talking is out of hand. It’s disrespectful to the teacher and it’s hard to hear him over it all."
It was quiet after that.
And they probably all hate me now, but FUCK IT. I paid money to get this education and I only get to hear this instruction 3 classes a week for just an hour at a time. Based on that instruction, some TA discussion hours, and the work I put in alone I’m supposed to master calculus somewhat in 3 months. I need to hear what the professor is saying.
Also, the professor has studied most of his life to be able to stand in front of us and FREELY GIVE US ALL THAT EDUCATION. I mean, just GIVE it to us. This is the only time in our lives where something like that will happen. In the work world, someone giving you everything they know is a recipe for you taking their job, so IT DOESN’T HAPPEN.
So, I’m going to pig out on all I can get from UCLA.
And, Jesus Christ, give some respect to the professor. HE doesn’t need to be talking about basic calculus; he already knows all about it. He’s talking about it because WE need to know about it. If you’re talking because it’s boring to you as you already know it, then don’t come to lecture. If you’re talking because you need to catch up with your friends, go outside and chat it up. Nobody’s taking attendance.
People ask me what’s the difference between my going to school as an adult and when I was a teen. Because it feels completely natural to me right now and so many of my school friends are just brilliant, mature people, I just don’t feel like I’m “going to school as an adult”.
Except this: I’m going to squeeze every last drop of education out of the 4 years and I don’t give a shit if 200 of my classmates hate me because I told them to STFU so I can hear the professor.
When I was a teen, I would have cared.