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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Complainin' Hour Episode 2: Immaturity Continues

Welcome to another exciting episode of COMPLAININ' HOUR! where Austin dedicates an entire post to complaining about some awry aspect of his life. Feel free to join in the fun!

"Complaining is not annoying; it is whining out loud, outside of a paper or keyboard that is irritating."  Anonymous


I used to think that college was a place where you could throw your college drama away... squeeze all of that immature childishness out of the dorm window and finally act like—and be—an adult. I imagined that, now that graduated students were on their own now, at least to an extent, they would take classes more seriously; that they would recognize that they were no longer being forced to come, but had made a choice to come to a college and learn. I especially expected this to be the attitude of students going to a church school paid in large part by tithing dollars, where the only real hard part for some—which is not hard at all, and is in fact the reason the school is so well-constructed and orderly—is a tasteful Honor Code. I viewed BYU-Idaho as such a place, and I do for the most part view the student body as such a group.

But, as was the unfortunate realization on my mission, I was wrong thinking that maturity comes as a free gift when going to college.

I am taking an American Heritage class here. Monday Wednesday Friday, afternoons. The teacher is an older gentleman. His teaching methods are old-fashioned, and on occasions tedious. He spends each class going through a slideshow, explaining about the American Constitution, the country's coming about, and other facts about the United States' history. I confess at the first of class I disliked the class, and even the teacher's methods, for a time. I was selfish, and thought I was entitled to a more energetic, academic atmosphere than simply copying down key words from PowerPoint slides every period. I confess I even disliked the teacher, and resented his attendance policy that forbade me from skipping class were I not in the mood.

I was wrong. And it is not the teacher I complain about this day, it is my fellow peers who act just as I did... immaturely.

I have the unfortunate privilege of taking American Heritage as a Sophomore... I am the only student with such an academic age in a class full of Freshman. It is now after my mission, after I have grown up and seen somewhat the seriousness of life, that I have realized just how irresponsible it is to feel entitled. Every day, I sit in the back row on the top, and I see countless little illuminated laptop screens, where students watch sports games, browse Facebook, and even talk not-so-quietly about pictures with their friends. Since the elderly teacher has a hearing aid, he has no idea what's going on back there. He's just doing the job he's always done, hoping to at least convey what we need to do to pass the exams.

These freshmen irritate me. Who do they think they are? If they don't want to come, then why do they come at all? Who cares about the attendance policy? Why torture yourself for an hour every other day in a boring classroom? But it's worse than that. They're distracting others in the process. Even though the class is boring, it makes things a lot worse when there are aural and visual distractions panning out in front of me. I hope that someday these children can learn what it means to be adults; I hope they can understand that there are more people in this world than just them, and there is more to life than just sitting in a classroom and waiting for life to go by. They got good enough grades in high school to come here; I just wish they'd do what it takes to deserve their acceptance.

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