Dear readers, I’ve begun to notice a serious condition that is plaguing students all across our fine state.  It is a rampant, growing epidemic that is so invasive, it threatens to reach into your school and take possession of your children.  It seems that many college students, who are engaged in their class discussions and lectures, are suddenly and without warning disappearing.

Yes, it’s true.  Students all over the state are vanishing before our educator’s very eyes.  One minute, they are there, sitting attentively, taking notes and engaging the instructor in meaningful conversation. The next, they are gone.  It’s as if they evaporated into thin air, leaving no trace of their former presence.  Or so one would think.  Just when you grow comfortable in their absence, they abruptly re-appear, frightening their fellow classmates and instructors with a random question, comment, or concern.  It’s as if their spirit remained in the room, observing all the goings on yet their bodies choose to remain unseen by the rest of the class.  It is a terribly frightening and chilling phenomenon; one that requires all caution to avoid.

Ok, maybe students aren’t actually disappearing in class.  But that scenario seems to make more sense than the reality of what goes on with some students in some classes.  How else am I to explain when students fall asleep, watch You Tube videos on their laptops, text, doodle, or complete homework for other classes, all during class time and in plain view.  It’s a phenomenon I’ve referred to as the “invisibility effect.”  Something happens when a student sits at a desk and faces the front of a classroom – they forget that just as they can see their professor, so can their professor see them.

Maybe this is the result of too much television or the fault of online chatting, where people do remain unseen by their digital audiences.  But this is real life now; the instructor you’re looking at isn’t digital.  You are visible.  Recognize.  I see those cell phones hidden under textbooks and table tops.  I know you’re not taking notes on your laptop when your face reveals muffled laughter and you elbow your neighbor, pointing at your computer screen so they might share in your glee.  Pull your hat down over your eyes all you want; just because you can’t see me, I can still see you, sleeping peacefully in the back row, head leaning back against the wall.  And ma’am, I understand that bras aren’t always the most comfortable of clothing.  However, if you would be so kind, please refrain from grabbing the tops of your cups and vigorously hoisting them upward during my lectures. It’s distracting, at the least. At most, it’s going to cause some chafing, and that’s not good for anyone.

So students, a word to the wise.  Remember that game your parents played with you as a baby?  Peek-a-boo?  Well, consider that your first and possibly earliest life’s lesson.  I. See. You.

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