Kassandra Short Mrs. Fuller WRTG 150 28 January 2013 “Excuse me, is that Spot Open?” I know what you are thinking. Do I really have to read another essay about parking cars at BYU? The answer is no; however, I would like to point out a few things about where students park themselves–in class that is. After being in public school almost all of my life, I have unofficially earned myself a PhD in people-watching. Listen close–for I have discovered the irrevocable truth about the social tendencies that flood our lecture halls. Stated simply, human DNA has evolved to include a gene that I like to call “selfish seating.” Most people don’t talk or even think about seating arrangements. Sitting down in a lecture is something that BYU students do every day, but little do they know the effect that their “selfish seating” gene has on others. I do believe that there are some things that we as a student body can do to improve the effectiveness and ease of sitting down and standing up every day, before and after class. You might think this topic is frivolous and does not equate to the seriousness of the issues regarding the economy, gay rights, and abortion–but just consider these ideas. Picture this: Sunshine, flowers, and lollipops rain from the rainbow sky. On this morning, you’re up bright and early with ten dream filled hours of sleep behind you. You stroll up to campus, with time to snag a donut from the BYU Creamery for breakfast. Go ahead, chat with a few friends walking by–what’s the rush? You leisurely stride into your practically empty lecture hall and take an open seat on the end of a row. This spot is convenient for you because when class is dismissed, you can Usain Bolt your way out, while those other turtles gather their
belongings. The room begins to fill with chatty students. Remember what I said about convenient? Well, this spot doesn’t seem so convenient anymore. Every few seconds, someone politely asks to squeeze by. “Oh sure!” you reply, squishing your backpack closer to allow them through. Ouch! Someone just stepped on your foot. Just as you get comfortable, another person comes along, forcing you to make room for them to pass. Ouch! Your eyes start watering because of excruciating pain. “Oh, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it!” Sleep with one eye open tonight... Now picture this contradicting scenario: You scramble off the bed like a pan of eggs. It’s 8:55 and your class starts at nine–oh no! Spending all last night snickering at YouTube videos, mostly about the mishaps of angry kittens, probably wasn’t the best idea. You throw on the first thing you find which happens to be the long-sleeve top left over from the ugly sweater Christmas party a few months back and your well-worn pair of swishy pants. Okay, what classes do you have today? You are too tired to think. You jam all your books in your backpack… you know, the kind of jamming that just wastes your time… that dang zipper! After spending ten minutes adjusting your high and nerdy backpack, you enter the freezing abyss that is Provo and power walk to your first class of the day. You frantically burst into the lecture hall with approximately 500 people seated, somewhat embarrassed because 1000 little eyeballs are mindlessly drawn toward the scene. Your glance escapes theirs, but oh, you know they’re there. I see a spot… there’s one… right in the middle of the row. What a surprise. “Excuse me, pardon me, was that a toe? Sorry ‘bout that …” On the way there, nearly all are blind-sided by a hot pink rush of polyester, namely, your backpack. You do not dare to look at them in the face for there could be bruising, and surely you’ve popped their personal bubble with that flinging plastic zipper. I knew that zipper would be my death.
Both of these situations may be a little exaggerated, but this has been my introduction to the academic facet of college life–needless staring and toe-stomping. I’m sure that we can all agree that this can be frustrating and inconvenient. Seating one’s self is a freedom, imparted unto us by the founding fathers of, well, chairs–it is not something that should haunt us. Neither student can spurt the sting of finding a comfortable seat in lecture hall. You see, the punctual student that claims the coveted end seat suffers just as miserably as the late comer that struggles through the airplane-sized aisle, fit only for the fit. One problem at a time, though, folks. Someone sitting on the end of the row could argue that they have to be somewhere right after class, most likely a timed escape to run into the cutie in the class across the hall. Maybe they are rushing to work, a game, a date… gosh darn it, they need that end seat! In all honesty, the reason I like sitting on the end is simply because I am impatient waiting for others. Whatever the reason may be, I assure you that it is most likely not a life or death situation. Most students just have another class after. Either we have got a stubborn BYU population, or ten minutes just isn’t enough to get in the walking, the flirting, and the free BYUSA food at Brigham Square. According to my roommate, it takes her approximately seven minutes to get from the Maeser to the HFAC. That’s all the way across campus! In my opinion, that is plenty of time to get to class. I get the general busyness; but maybe we could all take a cherished minute to explore new possibilities for living instead of anxiously searching for that gap in the crowd–I’ve seen it. Keep the flirting and the free food hoarding to the single’s ward dances, and spend a few ticks conversing with the person next to you while you wait for the coast to clear. Make a new friend; stay awhile. You would not be surprised to find that your new study buddy is the key to passing the class, or even… the key to your heart. Let your mind wander over the complexities of life, Plato’s cave, or another philosophical boggler. Organize your meals for the next month. Plan a
Facebook stalking session. I mean, when do you have time to do that? These things are important! In all seriousness, ponder over the many ways you can show your beloved roommate how much you deeply care. A nice note, a bed-making, a friendly invitation to those Relief Society fondue nights – swarm her with kindness. Memorize a scripture. Think of activities you can do during your next free minute. Whatever you decide, may it help you to relax a little and curb the urge to rush out those doors. The solution came as I sorted through the facts over Cap’n Crunch this morning. The light bulb appeared only briefly over my head; I had to write this one down, and fast. My plea for all the Cougars out there is simple, yet may take some real feline courage. Sit in the middle. Please. Right when you come in; sit there–in the middle. When others arrive, imagine the gloriousness! No backpack bumping, uncomfortable first-time words to strangers, or anxious and destructive exits. I imagine we would all have at least one more Facebook friend if we employ this more selfless approach to seating. Our blood pressure may plummet considering all the meditative moments patiently waiting for our row to leave. This idea obviously cannot be strictly enforced; the campus police won’t hunt you down if you sit on the end of the row, and Cosmo will not bring in video cameras to publically applaud you for choosing a middle seat, but there will be countless individuals who will silently thank you for willfully resisting the “selfish seating” gene.