Just pack up when class is over

By Dan Riley


(Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
(Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

We’re all familiar with the zipper-symphony that begins with two minutes left in a lecture and ends with a dejected sigh from professors. The thumping of desks being put down, papers riffling as notebooks are hastily closed, textbooks being shoved into bags, and of course: the zipping of 100 backpacks that could drown out the cheers of Southwest Residential Area during a New England Patriots victory.

When the symphony begins, even those who do not play an instrument get dragged down. That is to say that the quality of the class goes down for everyone. But maybe if we all just waited until the class time ended to start packing up, we would all stand to benefit.

I get that the 20 seconds saved by packing up before the professor was done is basically the difference between life and death. I also get that your time is more valuable than mine, so it’s OK that I couldn’t hear anything the professor was saying for the final minutes. I mean, it is not as if we’re paying thousands of dollars to receive this education. Plus, what’s it matter if a professor has dedicated all of his or her’s time toward providing you with knowledge? Why would you even consider giving them any shred of basic human respect?

When that first zipper sounds across a quiet room, it’s like a beacon has been lit. The ice is broken, and everyone feels invited to also zip up his or her bag. Some primal instinct tells me that I must also play the song of my backpack. I simply must join the symphony; it is in my nature as a college student. However, I would like to think I have some shred of decency in me, so I resist this urge.

Sarcasm aside, I really do understand the pressure to be ready to leave as soon as the professor says the lecture is over. I find it really awkward to keep a row of people waiting while I toss my stuff in my bag. However, I wouldn’t have to keep people waiting if they were also packing their bags at the conclusion of the lecture instead of two minutes prior. Annoying someone by keeping them waiting is awkward. However, what is far more awkward is the tension that builds in the room when people start packing and the professor starts to look angry. Every time the rustling begins, I just wait for the professor to explode at the sign of disrespect. I think we would deserve it.

If you really need to get out of class fast, sit by the door. Otherwise, sit down and listen for the time slot that has been allotted, then pack at the end. The topics covered in the last few minutes are just as viable to be on an exam as the first few minutes. Packing early is not efficient. It is not smart. It is not necessary. It is just rude.

Dan Riley is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]