Grow up, freshmen

By Missy Katner

Lumen Assistant Editor

Editor’s note:

See Katner’s article ‘No Impact Man’ for more information on Beavan’s presentation.

“How do we get others to listen?” The irony of those words was un­known to Colin Beavan even as he spoke them. Early in his presenta­tion, Beavan asked the freshmen in the room to identify themselves. Now, I have to wonder if that was a private joke.

I sat towards the back of the room, surrounded by a sea of the young students. Midway through the lec­ture, I looked around and saw that very few were listening at all.

In front of me, beside me, kiddy-corner to me—everywhere students texted away on their phones.

I was astounded by the complete lack of respect shown to Beavan. Texting is one thing—at least all that can be heard is constant click-tick-ticking. But it is quite another thing to be discussing Facebook statuses and chatting throughout an entire lecture.

To top it off, as the main talk end­ed and Beavan announced that the Q&A session would begin, people exited the room in herds. At least half of the room cleared out.

Since when did it become accept­able to attend a presentation and leave before it is finished? I don’t care if you are forced to be there on account of a class. And you should at least have the decency to not be a constant distraction to those around you. This isn’t high school, folks.

I should say in the entire semes­ter so far, I have not noticed any sort of behavior like this in the Viterbo freshmen. Maybe this is why I was so surprised at how much this par­ticular group bothered me in one night.

Obviously, I was unimpressed with that selection of UW-La Crosse’s freshmen class. The students near me were completely oblivious to Beavan’s message about the impor­tance of listening, social awareness, and interaction with nature. The iro­ny was so noticeable, it almost hurts to point it out. But I have to won­der if there is something far scarier and murkier afoot. What does it say about the next “generation” of col­lege students if they don’t even care enough to listen to a lecture geared to their demographic?

There was a 10-year-old near the front who seemed to be listening in­tently. That gives me some hope.

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