I hate it when people talk during Chapel. I’m not above whispering to a friend occasionally or finishing up a conversation during the first song, but when you can hear somebody blabbering from six seats over and three rows up, it’s a little much.
This past week has been great. I’ve hardly heard anybody talking during the speakers message and only a slight buzz during the singing.
I was planning on writing this column to challenge the student body to continue to be as quiet and respectful during Chapel this year as they have this past week – then something happened. After texting in for the Pepsi challenge, I found myself switching contacts. I had every intention of playing a game then texting my friends who were sitting on the other side of Moody.
How can I, in clear conscience, write a scathing critique of others when I find myself doing the exact same things? My freshman year, I took a required speech course, Fundamentals of Communication. In it, I was told of a UCLA study which stated over 50 percent of communication is nonverbal. Even though I may not be making audible noise, my attitude of boredom is just as disrespectful.
True, if I had a choice of hearing somebody talking or playing on their phone, I’d go with the phone. This is mainly because I’m not that interested in hearing how unfair a professor was for giving Betty Sue a “C” on the paper that was three days late. But my freshman year I spent most of the first semester watching a guy play jelly car in the row in front of me. Entertaining? Yes – but not fulfilling.
Expecting students to get out from their classes, go to Moody, sit next to a friend and never talk is unrealistic. I do it all the time. I don’t know of a solution that will weed out disrespectful behavior in myself, much less the whole student body. If anybody else does, please let me and Dr. Mark Lewis know.
Instead of telling others what to do, I’m making a new-school-year resolution for myself.
Even on days when I don’t feel like being there, from the moment the first song starts I’m putting my phone in my pocket and not taking it out until we’re dismissed.
I have a bit of a mouth, so I’ll continue to make snide comments to whoever I sit next to, but I resolve to stay awake and actually listen to what the speaker is saying. Then I’ll discuss weekend plans during lunch.
I do have one request for all Chapel goers. I know not all of you have the same affinity for Chapel that I do, but days when prospective students come, please skip. You have over 90 potential Chapel credits and can afford to skip a couple of Fridays.
So while I doubt I’ll keep this resolution any longer than any others I’ve made, I hope we can face this challenge and make every Chapel this year a little better.