By this point in my education, I have developed a fairly long list of pet peeves related to the learning environment. I can’t speak for everyone, but these are my personal least favorites.
1. Eating smelly foods in class
Noxious, sauce covered sandwiches, sushi, and leftovers of any kind do not belong in the classroom. They diffuse through the whole space and detract from my learning experience. Or, very occasionally, they make me hungry, which is also frustrating.
2. Cracking your knuckles*, or any other joints
The sound makes me cringe. Cracking your knuckles won’t give you arthritis, but that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for class! I still remember a high school friend who relished in cracking his knuckles behind my head in French class. Please refrain from cracking knuckles, or performing amateur chiropractic adjustments in the classroom.
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3. Constant whispering
We all enjoy the occasional whispered comment or joke, but when you’re enjoying a full conversation throughout the lecture, the constant noise is a distracting undertone that makes it difficult to concentrate on the lecturer. Take it outside! Lecture, at least at AMC, is hardly ever required. If you want to talk the whole time, why did you show up at all?
4. Asking a question when everyone is desperate to leave
If the lecturer has droned over the hour mark and has infringed upon the lunch break, please don’t ask any questions! Your question, if you really must ask it, can wait until the rest of us have filed out of the room. Feel free to yak with the professor all you want, but please let me leave so I can eat my lunch or move on to another activity. I may or may not be interested in your question, but I can guarantee that I’m uninterested if it’s lunch time.
Those are my top four. Avoid these things and we can very happily share a classroom. You may not share my pet peeves, but we can probably all agree that the learning environment is an important space that we should attempt to make comfortable for everyone. We all have a lot of difficult learning ahead of us in medical school and we should try to make it as pleasant as possible!