Land of the Laptops

I love being back in school.

Every class is different, with its own routine. Math, I’m down in front, center row. Media persuasion, I’m usually in the back somewhere, on an aisle. Geography, left-hand side as you enter the room, second row. MC2010? Front row, left.

Anyway, point is, by the end of a semester you’re practically fossilized in your ways. Things start as convenience, become trends, and end up as rigid habits.

One habit I’ve never quite kicked is watching what my fellow students are up to.

… when I said they were all on Facebook or whatnot 100 percent of the time, I exaggerated. But only by a factor of two.

At first glance, you might think they’re, say, learning. They all appear engaged, what with an ocean of open laptops, eager young hands perched over keys, hard at work.

Except that they’re all on Facebook. Or Pinterest. Or something. All the time. Every class.

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This isn’t entirely surprising. Technology trends mean that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know college kids have laptop computers.

A laptop allows you to work quickly enough (especially when taking notes) that you can, sort of, multitask. In some classes. Depending on the situation.

But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about full-on “I’m here, but I sure as sh-t ain’t present” sorts of behavior.

I really should take a picture, next time I’m in class, of the sea of laptops before me – about half of which, at any given moment, will display class notes. The other half? Anything but.

Oh, and earlier, when I said they were all on Facebook or whatnot 100 percent of the time, I exaggerated. But only by a factor of two.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitching. I’m amused. I always take full notes. If I want to screw around on Facebook, I’ll skip class altogether, because I find I don’t really learn anything by surfing Facebook in a classroom. Well, nothing I couldn’t learn by surfing Facebook nude in my bed.

Which is why I tend to, say, take notes while I’m in class. If I’m there, why not find out what’ll be on the test? Just for fun?

But when there’s someone just kind of keeping that uncomfortable seat warm, it doesn’t bug me, because he isn’t taking anything away from me. In fact, if their test scores suck (and why shouldn’t they?), they make me look better in the process.

So pin at will. Update your status to your heart’s content. I don’t really get why you’re there, but it ain’t my problem. I just wish my memory weren’t so fuzzy. I’ll be damned if I can remember how we wasted time in class back when all we had was paper and pencil.

Naps, maybe?

About Jared Kendall

Jared Kendall
A freelance data journalist and father of two, Jared Kendall has been using comedy as a coping mechanism his entire life. Born a Yankee, Jared's twenty-year stint in Baton Rouge still leaves him with one question: "Why'd I move here, again?"

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