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Life Lessons From Melissa: Mind your A's and B's: Class etiquette matters

I am not a model student. I skip a little too much class, I am a champion procrastinator, and I put too much unwarranted stock into my multitasking abilities.

All of these things are pretty obvious offenses. But recently, I learned of some additional offenses I wasn’t aware of, and I bet a lot of you are in the same sinking boat.

I am a UTA this quarter, which means I am experiencing what it is like from the teacher’s side for the first time. I have learned many things from this experience so far, but the most enlightening is that students are annoying.

Don’t get me wrong; I doubt most, if any, of the irritating things my students do are done with the intention of causing me to bite my tongue from the desire to call them an inappropriate name, but they are still done.

So my peers, I would like to offer five pieces of advice that could potentially get you off of your teacher’s hate-list:

1. Seriously, stop texting in class. Your professors are not stupid (that’s why they are professors), and they probably are not blind.

They know that you are not so interested in your material that you need to have the book constantly open in your lap for reference. They know there is a clock behind their head and that you aren’t just checking the time.

It is so much more disrespectful and blatantly rude than it seems to you, probably because you think it goes unnoticed.

Well, it doesn’t.

2. No one likes a know-it-all. Those people are hated by not only the professor but the entire class as well (and most likely by co-workers, “friends,” the unassuming grocery-store clerk, family, etc.).

Even if you are, or think you are, smarter than everyone else in that room, no one else cares. Actually, people who are seemingly never wrong generally intimidate others, and they will avoid you.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t contribute your input, but we don’t need a walking, talking thesaurus. That’s what the Internet is for and it’s a lot more fun to surf the Web than listen to your pretentious rambling.

3. Conversely, contribute to the class. If you know the answer, say it.

It is much more embarrassing and uncomfortable to sit in total silence while the professor stares everyone down in an academic standoff than to just answer the question.

4. Don’t talk about irrelevant/personal stuff unless prompted to do so. This happens much more often than it seems it would, and it is one of the worst in my opinion.

Your professors really don’t care what your stupid dog’s name is or what your “ironic” tattoo says. You aren’t their friend and they don’t want you to be.

5. Don’t be cynical/aggressive/sarcastic. These are things that should be kept to a minimum in any aspect of life (although sarcasm does have its place, your teacher doesn’t think it’s funny). But in the classroom, they are even more unlikable traits.

Your professors are people; you can make them feel demeaned and self-conscious, just like you feel after getting publicly called out.

These are things that we have all been guilty of at one point or another, and most of the time, we don’t realize how much it makes the professors dislike us.

They are not entirely objective, and they have opinions about you that they tell their spouses over dinner.

Don’t be the guy your teachers are calling an idiot while they’re twirling their spaghetti.

Mind your classroom etiquette.

Melissa Knueven is a junior studying communication and a columnist for The Post. Can’t stand the class know-it-all either? Email her at

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