By contributing writer Matt Richardon

As we trudge unwillingly into the second semester of the school year, I feel it is time for me to air some important grievances. Many of you freshman out there probably think you did an adequate job just surviving your first semester. While this may be true for a few of you—and here I stress the words “may” and “few”—for the majority of you nothing could be further from the truth. There are many subtle nuances that one comes to have an understanding of only after years of college experience. I’m going to do all you rookies a favor and let you in on a few things that will save you a lot of embarrassment and the rest of us a lot of irritation. After 11 semesters of college (that’s right, I’m a sixth year senior), I have become somewhat of an expert on the subject of classroom etiquette. I don't claim to know everything, just enough to attempt to make my last semester less than intolerable, so listen up.

First, in stark opposition to what many of you thought, the university setting was not designed to foster an ongoing intellectual discussion in the pursuit of knowledge or truth. It was designed to facilitate drunken debauchery. If you have any opinions of your own on any of the subjects discussed during a lecture, please just keep them to yourself. No matter how brilliant you think you may be, nobody else cares, and you're probably wrong. Trust me, no one is going to be any worse off because they didn’t get to hear your petty thoughts on the negative implications of the Patriot Act for the modern ecofeminist. All you are doing by contributing to classroom discussion is either a) making the rest of us look bad by setting a standard for classroom participation, or, and much worse, b) adding to the already superfluous amount of testable material that we will be responsible for come exam time. Besides, modern ecofeminists are better off cornfed and tranquilized in the back corner of a public zoo. So save your brown nosing for sniffing your boyfriend's ass (yes, this means you're either gay or female), and keep your intellectual mouth shut, unless you're whispering your burning desire to study and have sex at my apartment on Wednesday (yes, this means you are the hot girl with short brown hair in the back left row of my MWF Bio 321 class).


“Uhh… hey, is this… Poli Sci 101? Nevermind, I think I got the wrong room. Go back to bagging.”

Second order of business: cell phone etiquette. Text messaging is perfectly okay. Hell, answering or making calls during class is acceptable in my book. But seriously, keep those bad boys set to vibrate. There is perhaps no worse offense than blaring your novelty ring in the middle of a lecture. Picture the following: you are enjoying a deep slumber after being lulled to sleep by the monotonous drone of your 8:00am macroeconomics prof’s lecture on god knows what. For at least a little while you’ve been able to escape the hellish repercussions of the 8 Jager shots and 16 PBR's you took down last night at the bar. Suddenly, for no reason other than the ignorance of the jackass two seats over, you are awakened by Billy Joel’s “The Piano Man” or 50’s “In Da Club.” Unless your phone now plays in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and is synchronized to pull down the projection monitor in front of the class to play the accompanying music video, there is no reason for all this insanely annoying, REM-killing bleep-blop-bloop. In fact, this might be enough to send even the most well-adjusted student to the top of the bell tower at the student center with a 30 0 6. So please, for the sake of preserving the fragile integrity of mainstream hits, as well the well-being of everyone on campus, keep the ringers off during lectures.

Third, don’t stink. Maybe this is just because I go to school in Boulder (a haven for hippie filth) but many
of you stink to high heaven. This one has less to do with learning the ropes of college and more to do with basic life skills. The fact that you no longer live with your parents has more to do with hooking up at will and never making your bed than it does with completely ignoring the rules of human hygiene. I’m not even sure how you got that impression. Sure, a pair of dirty drawers on laundry day or perhaps a Friday morning accentuated by the potent and unique scent of tequila hangover may be acceptable every once in a while, but keep it within reason—re-using underwear you shit your pants in before last week's calc exam or dousing yourself in cheap whiskey to kill the tequila smell are never acceptable forms of compensation. If you just got excited and then let down all in the last sentence, please, never come to class on Fridays—you are beyond help.

Fourth and finally, never, ever…ever…cover your paper during an exam. If it weren't for you third grade shoulder hunchers, I might have been outta this place two years ago.

Okay, I think we set ourselves some achievable goals for the rest of the semester. For some of you this is not going to be easy, but when times get hard and you think about raising your hand or leaving your ringer on to show off your new $1.99 Michelle Branch ringtone, just remember back to a pre-party when you forced yourself to take one shot too many, stood over the sink ready to vomit, and then somehow held it in. Sure the aftertaste lingered for a good two minutes, but blacking out an hour earlier than usual was totally worth it, right? Exactly. Making your campus a brighter place, one class at a time.

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