Thursday, July 13, 2006
Cell Phones in Class
Michigan Professors view cell phones in class rooms seriously. One year before our batch, they had 2-3$ fines everytime the cell phone rang and disrupted class proceedings. In our year, one professor chose to allow cell phone rings to disrupt not only the class but also class participation grades.
Its not only the cell phones that causes disruption but also music from laptops. In an auditorium full of 450 people, a desi friend of mine switched on his laptop. Suddenly, it started blaring out a Hindi song. He did not know how to react to the glares and giggles if 450 people around him. In the moment of panic, he quickly closed the laptop and put it in his bag.
Ofcourse that didn't shut the laptop.
The song still kept blaring and he had to take his bag, run out of the auditorium and shut down the song. Apparently what had happened was - he had been hearing the song earlier during the day and he hibernated the laptop when the song was playing. So when he switched on his laptop, the laptop resumed where it stoppped and did the needful.
Another professor took the cell phone menace - a level up. If your phone rang in class, you would have to quickly handover the phone to her and she would answer the phone. I am dumb enough to not switch off my cell phone but I also extremely absent minded, I forget to take my cell phone to school most days. So I never got caught. But I disrupted class in other ways. I have to say - the tune that gets played automatically when windows boots in your laptop is really annoying. The embarassing 2.5 seconds that ensues seems like a year and makes you cringe. Back to cell phones. Inspite of this rule, some students still forgot to switch off their cell phones.
As a result, we got to hear some interesting conversations in class. Such as...
"you're her boyfirend? Well I am her Marketing professor and I am afraid your girlfriend doesn't know how to follow rules"
"Your mommy did not switch off her cell phone in class. She has been a bad student. Tell mommy to switch off her cell phone when she comes to class next time"