Return to Blogging, Tardiness, and Tolerance
October 19, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
I apologize for having disappeared off the blog for over two weeks. After I went off to the Grace Hopper conference and had to get more serious about completing my school work, I started to lose motivation and time for writing. But those, I feel are weak excuses that demonstrate my lack of commitment and direction. I hope to build back up my habit of writing every 1 - 2 days on this platform so I can refine my thoughts and discover my purpose.
I have a problem with people being tardy. I believe everyone has the ability to be consistently punctual. But there are so few punishments associated with tardiness for people in my social and school circle that there is no motivation to change the bad habit of lateness. There is also the confounding factor that we have devices for continuous updating. Since we can instantaneously send off messages to our peers saying we will be late, we don’t have to worry about other people waiting hopelessly for us.
Nothing is ever unknown, and nothing is set ever set in stone. Plans can change on the fly because we can instantly reorganize over the digital network. Calendars and meetings are merely suggestions. Running late is now the norm, not showing up to things is now the norm, and losing track of time is now the norm.
The responsibility for enforcing tardiness is on my shoulders. Tolerating tardiness merely allows it to proliferate. Tolerating anything merely allows it to proliferate. Shifting away from tardiness onto tolerance, some things I do not believe should be tolerated are: Technology use in class or meetings (mostly) Eating in class or meetings Tardiness to class or meetings
I add “to class” to all my instances because I’m still in school. Here’s my rationale behind each of the three items: Technology is distracting, and allowing its use reinforces technology addiction. Most students go on their phones or computers when they are bored to browse Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, etc. Multitasking in this way is dangerous. It is also a waste of time for a student to show up to class just to watch YouTube videos of cats jumping over fences for an hour. Taking notes on a computer is less effective than taking notes by hand. The speed and ease of digital note taking encourages transcription, rather than summary and re-interpretation of the material being presented. It also encourages students to look things up in the middle of note-taking and risk becoming distracted by the tangency of Googling things. Allowing students to use technology in class to relieve their boredom reinforces the neural pathways that lead to addiction. Humans should have coping mechanisms beyond the flashing screen. Allowing students to use technology to Google for things encourages the fragility of knowledge that Feynman decried. There are some things they should just know. If they don’t know them, they should write them down and look them up later. Whatever they don’t know is probably not so essential to the current material that they cannot keep up. If they can’t keep up, there is a problem here with their study habits or level of ability. Eating in class or meetings Americans have been trained to devalue quality of food and overweight cheapness and convenience. Eating is an experience that should be treasured and fully enjoyed with good company and ambience. People may be somewhat more relaxed and happy over a meal, but they are also more distracted. I find meetings without food to be far more productive than meetings with food, even just snacks or water. Eating in class is distracting and rude. There are set times for eating breaks throughout the day, and students should have enough respect for the class period to retrain themselves. Eating can also be messy. Regardless of how carefully you use your napkin and utensils, there are undoubtedly going to be crumbs, sauces, and other food items scattered about a room after a meal. Most people never clean up after eating for the next group. Avoid the need to clean up by not allowing food to begin with. Tardiness I’ve already given some gripes about tardiness, but I think the main problem here is the signaling about lack of respect. Never tell me you lost track of time, because I know that’s a blatant excuse. You had the ability to stop a conversation or meeting short and you failed to meet your obligation to me. Some people like to use lateness as a signal of their power over others. That is extremely rude, no matter who you are. I want a mentor or supervisor to respect me as I respect them, so please don’t think you can get away with such ridiculous behavior and not be disliked.
That’s it for today. Send comments to ipacifics [at] gmail [dot] com.