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The Blue & Gray Press | August 21, 2019

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Students have lost sight of basic manners and politeness


When I first came to the University of Mary Washington three years ago, I remember one of the things much of the incoming class agreed on was how friendly the campus was.

Everyone was impressed by random people holding doors for them, smiling at them on Campus Walk and going out of their way to be polite.

Unfortunately, less of this seems to be happening as time goes on. I really don’t care very much if people are not constantly beaming rays of sunshine all across campus.

It would be nice, but it’s unrealistic. I do not even mind if no one holds a door open for me when I am a few feet away.

What I do have a problem with is people who let doors slam right in my face, or who blatantly ignore me when I am trying to uphold the bare minimum of politeness.

Many people have a tendency to think that those who talk on cell phones while in the grocery store checkout line are extremely rude.

A lot of people also have a tendency to do this.

I am of the mind that if you are in a public place where it would not be rude to talk to the person next to you, it should not be considered ruder to talk to someone on a telephone.

That being said, whether you are talking on a cell phone or talking to the person next in line, it is extremely rude to completely ignore someone who is speaking to you, especially when they are trying to provide a service.

Recently, there was a UMW Crush which said, “I have a crush on every UMW student who is respectful to their professors!!! To every student who doesn’t check their phone, pack up early or make little distracting side comments during class, I like you,” (#496).

I have to say, I agree with the sentiment here, even if I do not have a crush on every student like this.

It is one thing for students to socialize before and after class, or even during group discussion, it is entirely different to blatantly ignore a professor when they are trying to teach.

Unless a student has explained to the professor they have to walk all the way from Combs to Jepson in ten minutes and asked for permission to leave early, there is no reason anyone should pack up their things three minutes before class ends on a daily basis.

It shows a professor that students clearly do not care about what they have to teach in those last three minutes.

I may wish I was anywhere else but in class, I may desperately want to see if my friend texted me back or I may accidentally fall asleep against my will because I ran out of coffee that morning.

However, I will always do my best to remain respectful, because as I learned in my philosophy class, people as far back as Plato say that we should treat others the way we wish to be treated.

It can never hurt to try and see things from another person’s perspective.