Stop Talking, Start Listening — Western students need to give speakers, professors a chance

By Staff

January 7, 2014

As difficult as this may sound, we’d like to have your undivided attention.

Every year, Missouri Western brings a speaker to campus that is largely successful in their respective fields. Seventy percent of the time, they have had some interesting things to tell us students.

One-hundred percent of the time, there is a hefty amount of the students in the audience who are either sleeping or talking the entire time.

This is disrespectful.

Not only that, but it’s naïve and juvenile. Now don’t get us wrong, we’re not the type to favor speakers just because they are “educating us” and that makes us seem classy because we enjoy learning things.

We will admit that there have been some boring speakers at these Convocations. It’s a hit or miss process, and it has missed quite a lot. Bringing an actual entertaining, and beneficial, speaker to a small school like Western can be quite the task.

The problem is that many of you students go into these convocations thinking “Oh my God, this is going to be so boring. Why do I have to be here? I could be getting’ my drink on!”

First of all Mr. and Mrs. Entitlement, your getting out of class for this, so don’t be complaining about why you have to be there.

The main problem here is that if you go into an event already assuming its going to be boring and feeling that you should “be somewhere else,” then you will automatically fulfill those thoughts.

Think of it like this, if you go into a movie thinking it’s some cheesy and lame flick that your friends dragged you to, you are going to hate it no matter what. Expectations create results because you will either assume it sucks and not pay attention or overanalyze everything because critiquing arouses you.

We understand that history may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but that doesn’t really matter. The fact that you are just assuming that you already know the quality of anything before even hearing it or seeing it just because it doesn’t sound interesting to you is just straight up arrogant.

Another issue is that you students seem to have this fear of taking part in anything that:

1)   Involves effort

2)   Doesn’t involve your major

This is a serious problem. It’s an issue with the convocation and also the issue with most students in general education classes.

You go into this class or event and don’t even listen because you don’t want to be there. What’s wrong with you? Have an open mind for once in your life.

Okay, you listen to this speech on History or take a class in Sociology; are you going to be taking any of this and putting it on a resume? No, not at all.

But you may walk away with some very important lessons. We’re not even talking about education. “Lessons on life” is the subject of this lecture.

It may be through the notes they give you or it may just be through the style they tell a story. You will walk away with something that you will remember for the rest of your life.

A great instructor or speaker is not somebody who puts all the information that they want to. What makes them great is if and when they are able to captivate their audience with their storytelling so much that they forget they are being educated.

The truth is, we may not ever remember what the overall subject matter of a lecture was or how we did on a certain test, but certain quotes and moments will always stick in our minds.

These moments are special and forever stored in our brains. We will die with them, full of positive reminiscence.

But when you don’t even bother to pay attention in this moments, you kill those moments.

So go ahead. Don’t listen to us. You’re just screwing yourself.