This goes with my last post I think–but it’s an example of a passive lack of courtesy.
I was at this great lecture the other night about Andy Warhol, who I am not particularly crazy about, but I really admired the speaker and was interested in what she had to say about working with him in the sixties and seventies. I had the perfect seat with a great view, but sitting to my right were these girls who spent the whole time whispering (or even talking in low voices) to one another. At one point one of them was talking on her cell phone during this lecture. They were oblivious to the aggravated looks I cast their way, so I had to spend the whole time trying to ignore their talking. I am sure that these girls weren’t the least bit interested in the lecture, but rather were there by the request of their instructor. Also, to my left were two young men in a similar situation. As it came to the end of the lecture, the man to my left had lost his attentive focus and was texting away on his cell phone, snapping shut the cover absentmindedly and repeatedly.
My thought is this: I don’t blame anyone for being bored during a lecture to which they are required to go. That is pretty common in academia, unfortunately. But I hope these people could remember that there were hundreds of other people who were interested in the topic and very much wanted to listen without distraction. And in the future, perhaps they could hold back the whispers, sighs, giggles, phone calls and texting until they left the building.
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