Common Courtesy: A dying art.
Three daily college realities have seemingly overlooked the age old idea of Common Courtesy, do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you (albeit flawed that logic works pretty well most times).
(Image from Slate)
Spitting is an activity that I’m quite certain has been around since the very first organisms blessed with the ability to do so. Likewise I feel that in some situations it is a very important activity that may indeed save you from certain death (I’ll let your imagination go wild with that). However I find this incessant equation of spitting = cool to be getting out of hand. I have four classes that I walk between every other day, which equates to 3 walks of roughly 5-10 minutes in duration. On each of these walks I see at least two dozen glossy splatters of mucous on the ground. If the wind catches it you’ll even see people walking with snot slathered on their shoes.
This is ridiculous. If you can’t make a walk between your classes without spitting you need to get help. If you can’t make it through a day without spitting you should acquire medical attention this instant. “But it’s gross to swallow spit.” It’s produced in your mouth and frankly spitting and swallowing cause it to cross nearly the same amount of taste spots on your tongue. It’s bad enough that people can’t make it to a trash can without dropping their gum on the ground we don’t need to add piles of disease everywhere.
Oh you didn’t realize that? Whenever you spit you aren’t simply safely discarding of germs from your system. When other people step on it they carry that disease into their home, into classrooms, dining areas, and even into hospitals (yeah thanks). Tuberculosis and similar diseases are spread quite consistently by spitting, whenever the spit dries the germs are carried through the air, so next time you see a beautiful windy day take a gander at all the dried flem on the ground. What used to be camping out on it is likely dancing around in your lungs.
This is one of the three activities that I’m forced to examine with each school day that is disgusting in every meaning of the word.
Smoking while you walk in a crowded area. I have nothing against smoking as a personal activity, frankly I’m in full support of any drug habit you feel isn’t destroying your life (someday I’ll write an article on that view to help flesh it out) but this is different. There are a few common courtesies that I give to all people that are anywhere in my vicinity, I don’t press their face up against my ass and fart, I don’t pee on anyone, and I don’t carry a campfire with me to blanket all those around me with smoke.
It doesn’t matter what you smoke, be it tobacco, weed, or a chimpanzee, if it’s smoking it’s not good for your lungs. In almost all cases your lungs hate when solid particles are caking inside of them, regardless of it those particles are literally Costco cake particles or crystallized chunks of toxins. Likewise standing a foot away from me doesn’t magically make the smoke not come my way, many times while waiting at bus stops there is a small group of people chain smoking about three to five feet away from the stop that has a prominent “No Smoking” sign on it. I find it an odd paradigm that you can’t drink alcohol in public yet you can smoke. Of the two I prefer the obnoxious drunks behavior to the coal train walking in front of me.
I know in the same breath most people can say its not addictive and ignore the fact they can’t make it through a school day without smoking and frankly that’s not what this post is about. If you can find a way to smoke without me having to inhale your leftovers we have no conflict. Otherwise stop smoking when you are in public, even propaganda aside that is not in the slightest way courteous. Unless we can agree that I can fart directly in your face without recourse. Then I think we have a deal (keep in mind when I have pot stickers you may not survive the incident).
(Image from yorkblog)
This falls back to the last conversation of smoking. I really don’t feel there is anything wrong with texting, it’s a form of communication and I feel that’s a wonderful thing. But much like smoking it has its place. That place is not in a classroom. I am driven to a near homicidal rage when I find the student behind me, the student two kids to the left of me, and the student directly to the right of me all texting. The clicking becomes this haunting orchestra that distracts me and leaves much of the class discussion collapsing beneath its weight.
You are not that important, people CAN survive without you for 50 minutes (much like I feel you can survive without a cigarette when in crowded areas). I don’t have my cell phone on when I am in class, because I understand two major things. I don’t NEED to be available at all times of the day, I’m not the president nor am I the pope. Secondly I am not the only person in the classroom. Much like smoking in the middle of 100 non-smokers is an obvious dick move you should not be clicking away at a tiny keyboard in a course that cost everyone in the class hundreds of dollars.
If you don’t feel the lectures are worth your attention then stop coming to class. If you can’t survive without discussing things with your BFF then start taking all the same courses. This is unacceptable in almost all situations. The only time I feel that you should be texting in class involves situations that warrant you not being there in the first place. This problem is absolutely out of control at my university and one of the major players in my inability to suggest anyone ever attend this place.
There are likely other things but in my daily life these three are rampant. In the last year I have never had a day where I wasn’t dodging smoke clouds, mucous mounds, or attempting to ignore the endless clicking of gossipy texters. If these situations had been played out in a book I’d feel they were exaggerative but this is everyday life at Western.
I have no plans to have rants all the time, these are just some things that are going to cause me to lose years off my life (from stress and disease which each feed off one another) or cause me to end someone elses life early :P.