Thoughts from a Back Row Desk

The life of a back row desk is a truly thrilling one — you get to support a massive variety of students.

The mornings generally begin with the sleepers. They drag themselves to the classroom for some unknown reason, and, with their last vestiges of energy, they flop down and fall asleep.

This isn’t bad in itself, but it is horribly boring. Also, the droolers leave me damp.

Later in the day, activity begins to pick up. The doodlers roll in and create spectacular works of art while ignoring the lecturer. These beautiful doodles are subsequently erased by a student with no imagination or appreciation for art (but who listlessly listens to the lecture while drumming incessantly on my surface).

Bits of eraser from removing an entire desk-worth of doodles surround me.

Next comes the chiseler, who has absolutely no respect for the service I provide. He arrives and immediately begins widening the canyon he has been working on all semester. I think his goal is to carve off a section of me as a memento of his college career.

Later in the day (it’s always in the late afternoon or evening) my favorite students begin to filter in. They slouch into the room and drop with utter indifference into the seat. Casualness and genius ooze from their pores.

I wait for the lecture to start so the fun can begin.

At the first droning of the lecturer, the student slouches even further into the seat. Indifference is projected as forcefully as possible from the back row.

“Teach me, I dare you,” their whole being proclaims.

They can appear to be asleep from a distance, but in actuality they are waiting for the slightest slip in the lecture so they can pounce.

A mistake! The lecturer just made a claim without sufficient evidence. The student springs into action.

The attack is merciless — everything is a carefully phrased question designed to force the professor to back up and admit their mistake.

Dominance and superiority asserted, the student slouches out of the room to seek out another opponent to challenge.

So ends another day in the exciting life of a back row desk.

Leave a Reply