A ringing cell phone during class is like the girl who talks at the movie theater, it’s disruptive and irritating. It’s impossible to concentrate on formulas and definitions when Kings of Leon is blaring in the background. For a few minutes the entire class must be halted while the phone is silenced, and then sometimes it takes a few more minutes to get back into the rhythm of the lecture.
Professors certainly don’t appreciate the interruption. They know they’re fighting a losing battle to hold students’ attention (with pinterest, Facebook, and twitter), they shouldn’t have to worry about a ringing cell phone distracting students even more.
But they do.
So many phones rang during my anthropology class that my professor was forced to take action. After distributing an updated syllabus, he began issuing pop quizzes to the entire class every time a student’s phone rang.
We took four quizzes.
There probably would have been more too, but a student stepped up. John began writing a reminder on the board every day before class, and even spoke to a few students before lecture began each day.
Class time is not cell phone time.
As easy as it may be to point fingers and glare at the forgetful students who don’t have enough sense to turn their cell off, try to be understanding.
You never know when one day, right as the professor’s starts speaking, it’s your phone that starts ringing. What do you do when every eye in the room turns angrily in your direction?
It always disappears.
The moment you truly need to find something is always the moment in which it disappears in the gaping pit that is your backpack. So, don’t dig too frantically in your attempt to stop Justin Bieber from singing the chorus of “Boyfriend” (really Justin Bieber is your ringtone) one more ime. You’ll find your phone a lot faster if you remain calm.
Apologize after class.
Everyone knows that you’re very sorry and very embarrassed, so don’t make a dragged out speech. Simply switch your phone off, and get back to your coursework. Later, after class is finished, you should apologize to your professor. Don’t try to explain it though; just say you’re sorry and it won’t happen again.
If it’s a Problem
If your cell has rung in class more than once, it’s a problem. Unfortunately there aren’t any apps (yet) that will automatically turn your phone on silent for a period of time, but you can always use an alarm to remind yourself. Have an alarm alert you 5 minutes before class and you won’t ever forget again.
Image: Phone it in