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An Open Letter to Those Who Gracefully Text in Class

If I texted and played with my cellphone in the middle of class in plain view of the teacher – if I made no effort to conceal my classroom sinfulness – I would be unprofessional, rude, and incapable of paying attention. I would be tomato-faced embarrassed, and I would feel like an absolute fraud. I would apologize at the end of class, even. Without being told to.        

Unlike you, I have no time, no tuition dollar, no ounce of energy to waste on Buzzfeed mid PhD expo marker stroke.

But you are someone who voraciously consumes this time, gluttonously slurping classroom minutes. You do not fear the things I fear. You have never wondered if, only when can I have it. And you don’t shy away from it.

If I could write an open letter to all the people I have watched luxuriously scroll through pages and endless pages of mindlessness in the middle of a lecture, for those who ignore professors and text in class –

A thesis

An angry, ranty, anti-dissertation

A Theme for English Me

– I would tell you that every drop of my bachelor’s is uniquely delicious, and that each spoonful of master’s my 4+1 Combined Degree Program gives me is like the fancy wine I cannot pronounce that other people drink on Michigan Avenue. My family tree grew the plums to make that wine, but they never tasted Diploma Americana. So every drop is a treasure.

I try not to ever text in class. I even try to avoid clicking the screen “on” to read the time. I try to keep it zippered, closed, and shut.

Maybe I have taken my phone to the hallway when my best friend was flaring and I could hardly breathe much less concentrate.

Maybe I have slipped a tidbit to my favorite Marine during his lunch break because the green circle said he was there and he’s 15 hours away.

Maybe I have passed a note and promise to call my twin back later.

You, on the other hand, effortlessly drain your energy not to fill notebook pages, but to fill BuzzFeed online traffic lanes. 

And yet, you remain effortless. Graceful, even. You don’t think to yourself, I bet the professor saw that and I bet they’re pissed, I bet they know, I bet the whole room knows what I don’t know, and they’ll talk about it once they’re freed of me.

The whole entire room sees you texting. I see you. And I don’t really like you, for I am so unlike you.  

Marta Leshyk

DePaul '20

Aspiring high school English teacher who hopes to help students learn to love and value themselves the way an old friend once helped her. Loves cats immensely, and enjoys iced coffee in the dead of winter. Is the proud daughter of immigrants, and learned English from Elmo, the ultimate PBS scholar. 
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