To raise your hand is a critical act that deserves some reflection, even if at first it seems obvious. In a micro sense, every time students raise their hands, a milepost passes—an important one. To raise your hand is to mark the passage of an event worthy of action.
The ooh ooh, I know!Me! I know! Look at the way i’m supporting my outstretched arm with my other arm! If you don’t call on me, I might die. At the very least i’m going to start whimpering. Why are you not calling on me?! I’m in the front row and i’ve been holding my arm up for so long that it’s starting to shake. Look at me! I can’t feel my fingers anymore. I also don’t remember what i’m raising my hand to say, but please call on me anyway or i’m going to have to start bouncing in my seat!!!
The note-takerOh man, I wish I could raise my hand and answer your question, but I am just so busy taking notes. I obviously know the answer, but I mean, you understand. I have to keep writing the word “hemoglobin” over and over again until you’re convinced that i’m busy, yet studiously attentive, and you call on someone else. Why do I only take notes when you’re asking questions? Ah, let me write that question down and vigorously avoid eye contact. I think that kid who’s bouncing in his seat knows though.
The back rowI’ve been watching “the sopranos” illegally online all class, but I reached my 72-minute limit on megavideo, so I decided to wikipedia what you’re talking about. Now i’m going to ask a really specific question so you think I did the reading and that hot girl three seats down thinks i’m one of those genius slackers that only really exist in teen dramadies. I love disproving stereotypes about people who sit in the back row. Oh, sweet. “friday night lights” is on netflix instant play.
The one-finger dissentUh, i’m going to have to disagree actually. I know you haven’t finished talking, but I can already tell that I disagree. I’m pretty sure the professor disagrees, too. I mean, psh, I can see that she’s nodding and smiling at you, but she and I have a more subtle understanding. Right, professor? Professor?
The nonchalantUh, yeah, I might have something to say. Not a big deal though. You can call on me. Or not. Whatever. I don’t really know why I want to answer your question. It’s not like I care. Hold on, I got a text message. I’m going to read that and then you can call on me if you feel like it. But don’t worry, i’m going to keep the phone level with my thigh while I text so it looks like I respect this class even though we all know that I don’t. I should probably put my phone on silent.
The hands freeI’m talking. Listen to me talk. Just try to get me to stop talking. I don’t care that class ends in 30 seconds. I’m going to ask a complicated question and nod attentively while the professor answers. The fact that everyone in the room wants to punch me in the neck does not matter. All that matters is that I am talking right now and you are not.
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