Friday, February 3, 2012

Miss. Manners

Let's talk about age for a minute. Or maybe two. Because it might take me longer than one minute to get this rant out. Oh yeah, that's right. I am going to rant. Actually, maybe this rant isn't so much about age as it is about manners. I don't know - I just know it is annoying to me and I am going to share my feelings.
Okay, so, for the past two years I have gone to the satellite campus of my college for night classes. It is a great little campus located right in my neighborhood. Basically it's two buildings of classrooms, some offices, a little bookstore and a cafe. Most of the students in my classes are in the same boat as I am - they have families, full-time jobs, bills to pay, etc. We are all there for the same reason - to learn the info, get a good grade in the class and move on. All we see is the end goal of our education, and we want to reach it with as few distractions as possible.
Right... so, fast forward to this semester. To get the class load and professors I wanted, I decided to drive down to the main campus during the day and take a full days worth of classes. And this, my friends, is where the rant begins.

I am not old. Not in so many words, at least. In fact, lots of people would consider me young. My grandmother, for example. She is 92. And I am sure that there is any number of people I know who would love to be thirty again. Kind of the way I would love to be twenty-one again. But, it is what it is, people. And that's just the truth. (sigh)
Anyway, so yeah, I am not old. But when I step foot on that campus, I feel like I am. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I don't have a smart phone, or even *confession* know how to operate a smart phone. My phone is so far from smart it is sad. It might even fall under the category of dumb. No touch screen, no talking lady inside, no apps with fun games, not even a camera that works very well. Not having a 'hardcore' laptop doesn't bother me either. You know the kind that fits in a tiny bag and you can pull it out and set it up on your table in like 20 seconds? (and it bakes your dinner for you later, too, i bet....) If you have one of those snazzy things, you don't have to bother with writing notes in a 3-ring binder like I do. Apparently pens and notebooks are very old-school - in this modern era typing your notes is the 'in' thing to do. Or, if you are like the girl who sits in front of me, shopping for real estate and  high heels while you pretend to be listening to the teacher lecture about the reproductive system. But, that's a different story....
No, my lack of technology doesn't bother me. It also has nothing to do with being out of fashion either. I actually don't think I am..... after all, most people are wearing the same thing I am. (and yes, that would be yoga pants, sneakers, and a fleece. Never goes out of style, right?) I carry a blue backpack and tote around a plastic water bottle and, regardless of the wrinkle on my forehead that glares at me from the mirror every morning, apparently can still pass for being 19, as my math teacher has no qualms about pointing out. Yes, fashion-wise, I fit in no problem.

*Time-out:  Okay, while we are (loosely) on the subject of fashion, I would like permission to digress for a moment. Allow me to share with you a few styles that I have seen on campus over the past few weeks that I have decided I have problems with. Nothing personal - they just annoy me:
1.  wearing uggs with teensy-weensy (and i mean weensy, weensy!) jean shorts and a puffy jacket. Ok, maybe you saw it on some Kate Moss-a-like in a magazine somewhere but, if we are all being honest here, it didn't really even look that good on her.
2.  lace-backed shirts. The concept is cool.... very vintage, romantic. Definitely has potential. Just not so romantic or vintage when you wear a black bra underneath and no camisole. Yes, lace is see thru.
3. Two-toned eyeshadow in bright, mustard yellow and electric blue. Newsflash: even in the 80's when this was cool it wasn't cool.
4. Wearing your sweatshirt inside out. On purpose.... because how could that even happen accidentally?
5. Dark, raisin-colored lip liner drawn on darkly and not filled in. sister-in-law pulled this off okay in high school. 15 years ago.

Right, so, based on the information above, aren't you all thinking my yoga pants and fleece jacket look super snazzy right about now?

Okay, okay, back to the topic at hand. Do you want to know the real reason I feel old on campus? It's because nobody there has any manners. Seriously. My parents were kind of manner nazi's when I was young (not that I ever minded), but is it too much to ask that people teach their kids some basic politeness?  As in, if someone is walking right behind you don't let the door swing back in their face. And if you bump into someone in the hallway at least utter something that resembles 'excuse me'. Oh, how about this one? - if you use the community microwave in the cafeteria and your lunch overflows, wipe it up. You might think that no one will know it was you, but there is a line of people waiting thier turn behind you and - surprise! - they know it was you and trust me, they don't appreciate your leftover eggplant parm in its exploded form.
Here's a couple more. When the teacher is lecturing, please stop talking to your neighbor about your boyfriend. Or your dog. Better still, stop furiously texting every 30 seconds. Why, you ask?  Firstly, because vibrate isn't actually a silent feature. I still hear your phone bouncing around on your desk and yes, it is distracting me. And secondly, it's really just plain rude. (If I were a professor I would probably dock points for it. Just saying....) Oh, and along the lines of phone etiquette, when I am sitting in the 'designated quiet study area' please, please, please don't come in to study and then answer your phone when it rings. Okay, fine, go ahead and answer it but for goodness sakes, don't proceed to have an entire, loud, airhead-y conversation. Unless, of course, you are telling your caller that you can't talk because you are in a designated quiet study area. If that's the case, by all means, carry on.
To top it all off, the icing on the cake of manner-less college kids is my personal favorite - I call it the 'share the stairs' concept. Similar to the 'share the road' idea, but maybe parents don't teach that anymore either. It is quite simple, really. It just sounds hard. Okay - here we go: staircases are split in half. A set of stairs on the left of the railing and a set of stairs on the right. People going up walk on the right of the railing. People going down walk on the left. (which is really your right at that point, but you get my drift. And if you don't, just always walk on the right side and you will be fine.) *Review: Up=right. Down=left.* Got it? Good. Now try it. Trust me - it just works.
 And, if you already abide by the nice manners in the aforementioned paragraphs maybe you could come to my school and share them. There are lots of people there that could really use it. And, yes, my friends, those people are the future of our country. I know.... too scary to think about....