And then, there are those students. You know, the ones who are normally (at least) ten minutes early to each class and who sit in the very front. Occasionally they’re late, but never unprepared. They come squeezing up with their big backpack, their lunch pail dangling from their wrist, not to mention books in their hands and the newest action figure swinging from their backpack. They loudly and not very gracefully make their way to the very front of the classroom where they feel they belong. Normally they’re very engaged and you know—answer every question asked. Sometimes it is rather annoying as they mutter off an answer that seems to be as long as a novel. But other times where no one else has an answer, you wait and wish that they would save the class by having something to add and relieve you from a possible pop quiz. All too often though you check out when they raise their hand, maybe even roll your eyes for others to see? It becomes somewhat of a habit, and unfortunately it’s as if they whole class is united against this student (sometimes even the professor too).
We’ve all been in that class. We all know those students; maybe we even are those students to an extent. And don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being a diligent student, let alone contributing to the class discussion; but sometimes it can be a little too much for one class to handle. This “student” was once in one of my religion classes…we will call her…Jessica. And Jessica never came unprepared; she had her backpack, her lunch pail, books, and extra bags overflowing with random knick-knacks. She wore this knitted animal hat (at least I think it was an animal) and not only did she sit towards the front and answer just about every question, but her unique and redeeming quality was that she did so while either knitting or doing needlepoint. I was fascinated (and to be honest, distracted) by her skill at giving such insightful comments, as well as staying so focused on her task at hand. I thought she was one of “those” students, and maybe she was, but it wasn’t overbearing, as she too looked engaged in her needlepoint, and not necessarily in just dominating the class.
*As Dr. Burton said, there is a fine line between humor and an unfair stereotype. I hope that I was able to mostly just air on the side of humor, and not offensiveness. My intent was not to offend, and I am truly sorry if I did.