Ask yourself this: ‘Why am I really here?’

With the semester in full swing and midterms less than a month away, the importance of studying is really hitting home.  
Most of us can agree that studying occurs outside the classroom, in the form of papers, projects, and worksheets. For some, studying and learning occur inside the classroom, as well.
Today’s society has taught us that we have rights, and the rights of an individual are paramount to anything else on earth.  While I can certainly identify with this philosophy, when it comes to my education, I’m forced to disagree.
Yes, spending thousands of dollars on tuition money entitles people to any education they want.  Yes, ultimately and in the long term, the only person you hurt if you do not learn is you.  But when those texting distracts those of us who appreciate the financial sacrifices it took to get us here-when it disrespects the teachers who are dedicated to educating in order to provide a better tomorrow, then we’ve got a problem.
Some students may only be here because it’s an escape from mommy and daddy’s rules.  They may only be here because it allows them to stay out all night partying with no real consequences.  That’s their prerogative.
Do you want to know why I’m here?  I’m here because no one in my family has ever gone beyond a four-year college, and I’m one of only two who has completed that.  I’m here because I want to not only provide for my family and myself. I want to help others in the process.  I cannnot accomplish that without having a master’s degree.
The glaring screen and clicking keys, can’t stop me from getting a degree and the most quality education my tuition can afford.  As a hearing- and currently vision-impaired student, my teachers and classmates who are speaking need my undivided focus in order for me to understand concepts and discussions.  When my peripherals, vision or hearing, pick up on something aside from normal classroom behavior, it causes me to have a “squirrel moment” to identify it and recognize if it’s something worth paying attention to.  When I see that it’s just some inconsiderate oaf on a cell phone, not only am I distracted, I’m “ticked off” that I lost those precious seconds of information from my professor, information that could have been valuable for personal growth and academic tests.
Students want to keep using their phones in class, that’s fine.  If posting on Facebook, playing Words with Friends or texting your boyfriend/girlfriend, so important do us both a favor and just stay home. By bringing it to class, my time, the professor’s, and also your own is wasted, and Heaven forbid class distracts from what’s really important, right?
Now, I know the argument can be made that cell phones can access the internet, thereby allowing students to do more in-depth research as quickly as Tech’s internet connection will allow.  You can also tell me that having the calculator on your phone allows you to complete simple computations without dragging around a bulky TI-85.  But like a popular sign addressed from a teacher aimed at texting students, “I know when you’re texting in class.  Seriously, no one looks down at their crotch and smiles.”