the classroom

For the past two days I have been in a six hour knowledge sharing session, which should hopefully conclude tomorrow. Sitting in a windowless conference room for such long periods reminded me of my school days (although my school rooms had big airy windows!) and I realized that we may have grown up but all of us have retained our classroom habits. So during the boring parts today, I made a mental note of various categories of students:

One. Sleepers:  You know these kinds. They are easiest to spot sitting towards the end of the classroom/conference room. They usually try to pull their chair in such an angle that the presenter/instructor fails to notice them. They often dress up in the color of the walls as a camouflage to help them blend into the background and doze off every now and then. Spotted two in my session today.

Two. Queriers: To spot them, you have to spend around ten minutes in the session. They ask questions every five minutes on an average. Sometimes smart, sometimes silly but as the day progresses, their questions become more and more useless. But they cannot help themselves and some how fail to notice that the presenter/instructor grudges their frequent interruptions. Only one in my session.

Three. Murmurers: This is my personal peeve. The murmurer often sits in the front row or directly in front of the presenter/instructor and softly repeats every sentence after them. One might begin the day with giving the murmurer a benefit of doubt, “maybe she needs to repeat stuff in order to remember or understand it.” Nevertheless, as the day progresses, the murmurer increasingly gets on one’s nerves and by the sixth hour, one is thinking of different ways to squash the murmurer into pulp.

Four. Prompter: This one also finds a place in the front of the classroom/conference room and directly looks the presenter/instructor in the eye. The prompter usually reads up before coming for the session and then happily prompts if the speaker takes a two second pause to articulate thoughts or maybe even breath. The prompter often does not realize how annoying they can be, or sometimes they do but cannot help themselves. Yours truly falls in this category. (What? You thought I only judge others?)

Five. Learner: This one sits in some inconspicuous location but does not make any effort to blend into walls like a sleeper. The learner is attentive and often runs out of ink and paper by the end of the session, but still spends the entire session with a single squeak. If there are any questions, the querier will ask or maybe the learner will approach the presenter/instructor after the session or during the bio breaks. You must always borrow the learner’s notes post the session to find out what you missed while you were prompting, querying, sleeping, or murmuring.

That concludes our today’s session. Have a good day. Cheers.

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3 Responses to “the classroom”

  1. When did u become a prompter? After passing college? I thought we were always in the learner/murmurer/sleeper category !
    Anyhow, do you realise how irritating you can be? You can give ppl an inferiority complex by being a prompter:)

  2. Heh, I was never a murmurer, and when did you see me sleep in the classroom? I was more of a daydreamer and if it was Ravinder Jha’s class, then a learner.

    I turned into a prompter after I started working. I like my job.

  3. Oh dear, I be the prompter too. I try and control tho, else those nasty stares …

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