OPINION: Everyone who interrupts a college lecture owes me money

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Professors and other instructors are interrupted on a daily basis, and it can easily annoy many students. Don't be that person. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

We’ve all been there. The professor is on a roll, the lecture is going by quickly, when someone shouts some tangentially related garbage from a sparsely populated corner of the room.

Odds are, you can hear their voice in your head, and you’re groaning internally. This has happened to me multiple times in at least two of my classes this semester, and frankly, I’ve had it. These people have been wasting my time, and now I want compensation.

Now, this isn’t bashing people with genuine questions. Asking questions is a critical part of the learning process, and I would never make fun of someone who is genuinely trying to understand something better.

But these aren’t the people I’m talking to.

The people I’m talking to are the people who feel the need to flex in front of their class, ask questions that are off topic, challenge the professor for no reason, make a joke that really didn’t need to be made and engage in other forms of attention-seeking clownery.

I said I want compensation, so let’s break it down. According to Kansas State University’s estimate of tuition and costs, a credit hour costs $312.15 for in-state students, which I am. So, a three credit hour course costs $936.45, and that’s not even counting the extra course fees.

Now, let’s say my three credit hour class meets for 50 minutes, three times a week, and there are 15 weeks in a semester. Barring any cancellations and holidays, the class should meet 45 times, for a total of 2,250 minutes in a semester.

Following that logic, I’m paying about $0.42 for every minute I sit in class, plus fees on top of that. For context, I make about $0.14 every minute I’m clocked into my job, so I’m already operating at a loss.

When someone interrupts the lecture and decides to argue, which usually happens multiple times, it’s hard not to feel like they’re literally burning the money I’m paying to sit in that class.

As a person whose card was declined trying to buy a bag of chips, I really feel those cents when someone decides to run their mouth. Look at me — I’m angry enough to do math, which I usually try desperately to avoid.

If you’re reading this and thinking, “Oh no, I interrupt lectures all the time,” don’t worry. I accept apologies through Venmo, PayPal and plain old cash.

Leah Zimmerli is a community editor for the Collegian and a sophomore in mass communications and political science. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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Leah Zimmerli
Hi there! I’m Leah Zimmerli, community desk co-editor, relentless optimist, and lover of big and small dogs. I’m a junior in political science and journalism from Overland Park, Kansas. I hope to bring you pieces that challenge you, that broaden your mindset, and help you learn more about your K-State community.