Thursday, October 26, 2006

Putting It to the Blog World

So, it's more than half way through the semester, right? And everything is getting established. By this time next week I'll have more than half of the chemistry and microbiology tests over and done with.

Earlier this week, Partner and I ran into a girl from our Chemistry class. She hadn't been there in a few weeks, and she proceeded to recount her sob story to us: car accident, she was sick, she lost her job. Suddenly I felt like I was teaching again hearing excuses galore. Oh well, we said, do you want to copy our notes? Oh yes, she gushed. I do. We can stay after class and I'll copy them then. This was Monday, and the last thing I wanted to do was sit at school for an hour after class was over while this girl copied my notes. Monday is a long day. So we copied my notes for her at the library before class. I went through them all and made sure they were legible where the copier couldn't pick up pencil marks. I stapled them quite nicely and waited for her to come to class. She came, but was late. Late late. That's pretty usual for her.

Wednesday we came into class, and she was there. On time. Sitting right where Partner sits. Displacing us from our front and center seats. I was pretty pissed off. Are we not in the seats that are ours now? Haven't we been in class for nigh near nine weeks and have we not established that is where we sit?

Let me explain: On our first day of lab, Partner and I were running late. Thus, the lab bench we ended up sitting at is in the back of the room, under a fan that runs continuously, making it very hard to hear. I hate where we sit in lab. When we came the next week, we were good and early and could have moved to a new lab bench quite easily, yet I didn't think this was right. We got where we got, and we'd have to deal with it. Now, it was still early enough in the semester, I don't think displacing someone at that point would have been too rude, but still, I feel bound by a certain seating ethics.

Thus, if I wouldn't do it to someone else, it really peeves me that someone would do it to me. I guess this is the whole part and parcel of manners really-- Or it's my true Libra nature coming out and rearing the ugly side of its head. I know this is childish and peevish of me, but still...
When I was teaching, I'd watch my students jockey for seats during the first week of class. After that, everyone pretty much seemed established and there hardly ever anyone who would rock the boat by moving.

I have my seat I like to sit in lecture. It is in the front row. In the center. I can see everything going on. The front of this class is pretty established. We're all geeks that are there for every class. We all ask frequent questions. And we're all probably pretty freaked out by Chemistry too. Having some stability, even if it's the same seat every Monday and Wednesday night helps keep my Chemistry fears to a minimum.

So when we were talking about it, Partner and I both decided we should put the question to the blog world: Was stealing Partner's seat half way through the term and displacing us rude or no? Or am I really a total type A for Anal person and need to loosen the hell up?


Blogger N said...

:D question of the day? Very funny you ask for "our opinion in this". So you asked and I'll let you know what I think:

I think you shouldn't care. It's just a seat. Isn't it about learning chemistry rather than about sitting in a certain seat? So while I don't think you are "a total type A", you certainly are a "bit" Anal :S.

Well, I hope for a miracle that the girl "get's it" and moves her butt away from your seat so that harmony in chemistry is restored. If not I suggest to get comfortable in your new spot.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Trista said...

Hmmm, I don't think that was very polite of her. But I also know that there are really dense people out there. People who think the world revolves around them. People who think that just because they've experienced misfortune that everyone must bend backward to accomodate them.

I know that it always upset me when I had claimed a seat in a class and then someone came along and "stole" it from me. People are territorial, and some people (like me) pick certain seats on purpose -- because they need those seats. But some people just don't get it. And some people just like to be pushy.

You aren't wrong, but it seems like one of those situations (or at least it's always seemed to me) that if someone doesn't get it, and violates the rule, there's nothing, really, you can do without looking like an ass (even though you are so totally right)

11:06 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...

there are no assigned seats at my church but people just seem to gravitate the same way. We always sit in the right side, thrid row by the wall. And when new people come in and sit there we have to find new seats and I obsess about it for the rest of the day.

But I'm anal so that's just me.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Suz said...

Technically, there are no assigned seats, so it's not really rude. However, it's definately a social faux pas, in the same way that getting in an elevator facing toward the back rather than toward the doors is a social faux pas.

11:34 AM  
Blogger J said...

This situation has happened to me in the past as well, and it's pissed me off every time, but, stepping back and really.....thinking about it...unless there are assigned seats (which there never are) it's just a little bit of a petty issue.

Sounds like this woman is having a rough enough time with things as they are, and probably isn't going to do very well in the class anyway, maybe sitting up front will help her.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Wendy & Karen said...

Having my seat taken would irritate me too. I'm thinkng that she chose your seats because she wants to be your friend (although taking your seat isn't the most friendly move).

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is so interesting to me that growing up assigned seats were the they seem almost comforting.We seek out our spot... the one by the window that allows us to see the changing seasons..the chair by the clock to assure we can see the time without the instructor catching our eye... as a student there is an unwritten rule not to disrupt the spot..No worries because we are creatures of habbit..I bet she will venture away soon:)
Love ya,

2:09 PM  
Blogger Hoping said...

Oh! I used to hate that in lecture.....I think you are right on with your thinking, although yes a "seat is just a seat" it is still where Partner sits all the time. It would piss me off too, BUT is she doing it unknowingly or to piss you off?

Anyways, yes it would seem rude to me too.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Grrlscout said...

Rude, rude I say. Maybe excusable for the first two weeks. Beyond that, rude.

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Jenn said...

I don't know if it's wrong or rude or anything, but it would definately piss me off.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Ekjiram said...

Definitely a "Ferrel Beryl". Get there early next week (if you can) and reclaim partner's possie. If that is where you have been sitting all this time and that is where you feel most comfy, then go for it. Maybe she was just trying to sit near you guys to be friendly and inadvertently sat in your spot instead, or maybe someone sat in her possie so she had to find somewhere else to sit and didn't realise she was displacing you guys, but then again maybe she just has no clue about these things and thought she would sit up front to try and get on the teacher's good side in the hope the teacher wouldn't notice they had been missing or late for the past few weeks. If she is there next week when you get there maybe play up the pregnant lady angle (hey! why the hell not!) and ask her if she would mind moving. Either way, I'd ditch the bitch and get your spot back. :-) M

3:18 AM  
Blogger mermaidgrrrl said...

1) you're a little bit anal and
2) beat that bitch to death - it's justifiable homicide (I'm anal too)

9:38 AM  
Blogger Firefly said...

I totally understand, I am exactly the same way. From what you have to say about her she probably had no idea whose seat it was as she has missed so many classes and she doesn't sound terribly observant. Most likely she won't ever show up again and you can sit in your "zone" peacefully. Maybe next time she will sit somewhere completely different, she probably just wanted the teacher to notice she was there. Bitch.

12:13 PM  
Blogger LilySea said...

She's rude.

But this is why I always arrange my classrooms in a circle and pick a different seat myself every week. keeps it fresh. forces contact that wouldn't otherwise happen.

3:59 PM  
Blogger hd said...

I would think it rude.

My reference class meets for 3 hours every Thursday in a lecture room, the kind with the half circle rows and rolling chairs. At the beginning of the semester I sat in the same seat every week--on the end in the front row close to the door because, let's face it, I'm going to have to pee during class because the kid LOVES my bladder. About 5 weeks in a guy in my class was suddenly sitting in my seat on the end. The seat next to him was empty. He didn't budge. I TOTALLY took it personally.

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was rude, but in a sort of clueless way. Obviously this gal isn't very in tune with being considerate.

I think you should ask her to relocate. You have complete dibs on that seat.

If she is decent she will apologize and sheepishly find another seat. But if she is even just a touch bitchy...oh she just better watch out!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous LL said...

Likely innocent: Which makes it perfectly acceptable for you to correct her. Hi - Whoopsie, that's my seat. You want notes? Give up the seat. Thank you! Bye bye.

8:48 PM  
Blogger agoodlistener said...

You see it as rude, and I would too, but when someone is as clueless as she, I'm sure she didn't do it with any sense of purposefulness. Definitely do what you have to to regain your rightful places. I have the same problem in the locker room. After a few weeks, everyone settles into wherever they want to be, and some jerk who admitted that it was his first day there plopped his crap in the locker I'd been using all along! It bothered me all day, but I haven't seen him since. Oh. Wait. This is your blog. I'll stop.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a teacher I can say that students pick seats and then I know where to look for them it is disconcerting to me as the teacher when people shift once the year gets going. She was rude. That said, I imagine it is likely she made the mistake by trying to be near you and missed... get there early next time and she'll figure it out. If not tell her. The teacher will appreciate it too.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

I'd be annoyed too, whether it was technically rude or not. But it sounds as if its unlikely to happen again, given that she doesn't seem like the type to show up early regularly.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous MaverickMama said...

No assigned seats? Then my opinion is that who ever gets to class first gets their pick of the seats regardless of how many weeks into the semester. It's just a seat, and I've had situations where I spent an entire semester unable to clearly hear the instructor because of the crummy location I got during the first week in an assigned seat lab class. Let the gal have a break, and hear the instructor front and center if she get's to class early.
BTW who says that you have to move your seat just because partners seat is taken?

8:24 AM  

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