Disclaimer: Please read with caution. This article is meant to be a funny satire. The opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the author’s or Her Campus BC’s feelings toward or position on any of the topics covered below. Thank you for your understanding.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “it’s a jungle out there.” So why should the classroom be any different? Here at Boston College we can get lost in a sense of homogeny, but with a slightly closer look it’s easy to discern a number of different groups (we’ll call them specimen) within our walls. In each of our classes we are sure to find at least one of each of the following five species. Now the only question that remains is…which one are you?
One of the most common species here at Boston College is the Overachiever. Chances are, you encounter these individuals on a daily basis. This specimen can be spotted by some of their signature characteristics, better known as the three P’s: preparedness, participation, and presentation. An overachiever never comes to class (or meetings, or meals, or social gatherings) unprepared. They’ve done the reading, including that “optional, but strongly recommended” reading we hear people speak of. They have printed and arranged all appropriate assignments, and somehow never bring the wrong notebook. Their participation in class puts the cumulative effort of their peers to shame, and when they speak you begin to wonder if they are secretly a Ph.D. student enacting some sick twisted version of “Punk’d.” There’s no way to be sure exactly how this species finds the time and motivation to unfalteringly maintain these characteristics, but one thing is for sure: They’ve found a suitable living environment here at Boston College.
The Self-Appointed Devils Advocate
There are a number of names we could call this species, but few are appropriate to publish. You know who we’re talking about – that kid who sits in your classroom with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc. Regardless of what is said, he is sure to have a rebuttal, and is even more sure to be ready to share it. Do his arguments need to make sense? No. Does his point need to further the discussion? Absolutely not. Can he fight with the teacher? Bonus points. This individual is on a one-man quest for knowledge, and no pesky 50-person lecture hall or highly esteemed professor can stand in his way. But don’t be fooled. While members of this species may at times bear strong resemblance to the Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon, there is usually a soft, sentimental side to them.
Just kidding, they really enjoy pissing you off.
The Silent Genius
A rare and more elusive species, the Silent Genius is a favorite among professors and students alike. This individual sits silently for forty-seven minutes of your fifty-minute class. But those other three minutes, oh those three minutes, they blow your mind. Chances are this student raises their hand and (by this point in the semester) everyone knows what’s coming. The professor’s face lights up, texting kids stash away their iPhones, and everyone in the front row turns around to get a good look. They wait for it, they wait for it, they wait for it, and…. BAM. Knowledge. Sometimes you may wonder why this resident hybrid between Einstein and the Dalai Lama doesn’t speak more frequently, but deep down you know why. It would ruin their mystical power, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
The sleeper. The texter. The doodler. There are a variety of subspecies under the “Present.” This individual’s main objective is to get that attendance credit. Excused (and unexcused) absences are a valuable resource, one not to be wasted. So whether it’s signing in on the roster or calling out “here,” this student knows that .4 seconds of classroom attention makes all of the difference. After the strenuous role call has been completed, this breed takes the opportunity to catch up on some lost Z’s, get back to those people they’ve been meaning to respond to, or further their artistic careers (after all, that’s part of being a well rounded person, no?). From fifty to seventy-five minutes, this specimen believes that there’s no reason “class” should interfere with these other important tasks.
The Name on the Roster
We’ve all heard this one – the person who’s always called, the name on the sign-in sheet that never has an illegible squiggle next to it, the empty chair. Chances are you’ll spend the first week or so wondering what this kid’s deal is. The next couple of weeks you’ll spend convincing yourself he or she has just overslept (for your 3 p.m. class), has a myriad of doctor’s appointments, or has gotten lost (Stokes can be very confusing). By half way through the semester you’ve started to become suspicious that this person is, in fact, a BC student. But don’t be alarmed, this is actually quite common. No one ever really knows what happens to this unique breed, but we have to conclude that their success is almost as mysterious as their lack of classroom presence.