College is awesome. Except that, during the first week of class, you’re going to have a bunch of really annoying people asking a bunch of really annoying questions that waste everyone’s time. Part of it is these people just love to raise their hand and talk and hear the sound of their own voices. But another part is that they really have no idea what they’re doing. And so you’ll all be sitting in the classroom, and you’ll hear someone ask the teacher questions like these:
1. Can you tell me how I’m supposed to log onto my campus email?
No, the professor cannot. It’s email. Maybe the campus email system doesn’t look exactly the same as the Gmail interface that you’re used to, but it’s still just email. Put in your username, put in your password, that’s it. If you’re having a hard time with either one of those, the professor is not going to be able to help you out. Take a number, and wait for campus IT to take you through the basics of Internet 101.
2. Are these pens OK?
The professor doesn’t care about your pens. Nobody cares about your pens. Go ahead and write in crayon if you want, because nobody’s going to call you out on stationary. Unless, of course, it’s one of those click pens, and you’re one of those students that sits in class and keeps clicking them, click, click, click, click, click. Yeah, those pens are the wrong pens.
3. Can I go to the bathroom?
Just go to the bathroom. Come on, it’s like a college cliché at this point, that you’re going to be in a class and someone is going to raise their hand and ask to go to the bathroom. And you think, no way, there’s no way someone’s actually going to do that. It would be like right out of a bad later-season episode of Boy Meets World where Cory and the gang go to college. But someone always does it. And everyone will probably try to be polite. But as soon as you’re gone, they’re all going to laugh at you.
4. Is this going to be on the final?
All you’re basically saying here is, “Do I have to be paying attention to this? Because it’s really boring, and it’d be great if I could just sort of zone out for the next twenty minutes or so.” If you have a question about what’s going to be on the final, go visit the professor during office hours. People are paying a lot of money to sit in this class, and every time you open your mouth, you’re pretty much robbing your classmates of precious seconds and minutes of valuable college education.
5. Can you repeat that last thing that you said three sentences ago?
Taking notes is more about trying to transcribe every single word that the professor says. All you’re doing here is disrupting the professor’s flow. If you find yourself still struggling after the lecture is over, ask a classmate if you can look at their notes. Or go to office hours.
6. Did you notice the typo on page 29?
That doesn’t have anything to do with anything. This also applies to any layout or formatting errors you might have spotted. The professors don’t publish the books. Nobody thinks that you’re smart because you applied your advanced word find skills to last week’s reading. Always ask yourself, is anybody going to benefit from what I have to say?
7. What did you mean when you said … ?
No, you see, I’m going to have to stop you right there, because you’ve already asked a bunch of really, super annoying questions. And so now whenever you open your mouth, everyone is just like, jeez, is that person really still asking dumb questions? Remember how your third grade teacher used to tell you that there’s no such thing as a dumb question? You’ve broken the mold here. You only ask dumb questions. Dumb, annoying questions. So stop it.