This week in class, “I didn’t think you could see me back here” edition

We’re nearing the half way point in the semester, and the onslaught of “big assessment” (I’m going to use that term now, instead of “midterms”) always brings to the fore a new set of delights. For example, this week I finally decided that I had had enough of the clutch of gals in the back row who whisper amongst themselves and are constantly “sharing” their computer screens, and giggling. I actually believe they are relatively engaged with the course material, and they are sitting in the “internet ghetto” (so computer use is allowed), but they are violating the prohibition on not being a distraction to other students. The gal on the end of the row is now perpetually giving them the stink eye. So, I chose one student and re-assigned her seat to the other side of the room. Although she was not the most aggressive distraction, she’s located in a seat that can function best as a kind of “chinese wall” (to quote this week’s Mad Men episode) and will hopefully pose an impediment to the other chatterlies in the row. Her email response indicated that she wouldn’t raise an issue with being reseated but wanted to know why she was being moved because: “I don’t talk to my neighbors in class, and I have extensive notes on each class period.” Well, how amazing is that, since I’ve seen it happen every class, my TA has seen it happen every class, and one of your friends complained to us about it?

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