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by Abigail Van Buren

Students At Community College Ruin Student's Experience

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I decided to take some classes at a local community college. We both have college degrees, but there was a class we were interested in. We are the oldest students in the class by 10 to 20 years.

I am irritated by our classmates' disrespect and rudeness to the instructor. It takes the form of talking with each other when the instructor is speaking, then asking her to explain what she just discussed while they were talking. They sometimes get so loud that I can't hear what the teacher is saying.

Is there anything I can do as a fellow student to get them to stop? Because of the age difference, I'm afraid most of them would think I was being bossy. -- ANONYMOUS IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR ANONYMOUS: The teacher you describe does not appear to be a particularly effective one or she would have better control of the classroom.

Because the noise level is so high you can't hear the lecture, I have two suggestions: The first is to speak privately with the teacher. And if that doesn't do the trick, when the students around you become disruptive, ask them to pipe down so you can hear what the instructor is saying. That is not being bossy. You paid for the class and you should get your money's worth.

Read more in: Miscellaneous | Etiquette & Ethics