A Message to Students and Teachers

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A Message to Students and Teachers

By Miles Rubens

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Sometimes in class I wish I could rip out my own nose so that I could stop the distraction and aggravation that someone eating repulsive and strong smelling food is causing me. Often the classroom smells more like a food court, with many different smells from different foods mixing together and wafting around the room, than a place of learning.

Different teachers have different policies when it comes to eating in class. Most teachers seem to be relatively lax when it comes to eating in class. Some are selective, choosing only to make a point to stop students from eating when the circumstances require it, and the scenario is dire (e.g. someone starts munching a smelly tuna fish sandwich in class), and some just try to ignore it and hope that students will refrain from eating in class on their own. But there is a final group that only a handful of hard-core anti-food teachers fall into. They are strict, and make a point to find any student who dares even eat the quietest and least-smelly foods. Pull out even a granola bar and they’ll catch you, stop class, and force it back into your backpack.

I think that this route is the way to go. Because in my view, calling someone out in public and even shaming them is the best way to deter someone. This is only way to stop the truly horrifying epidemic that is eating in class.

You might think eating in class is just a small problem, or that I should just learn to deal with it, but it is a serious distraction.

The other day in class, I was listening to the teacher give a lecture, and out of nowhere I heard, “Chomp!” Startled, I turned around and saw to my own disbelief that a classmate was loudly munching down a crisp apple. I looked at him, and he stared blankly back at me, as if to say, “Why are you looking at me, I’m not being distracting.” Eventually I was able to refocus on the teacher, but the damage had been done, I was confused about what was being said, and every bite my classmate took into that apple felt like a pin being poked into my skull.  

A few weeks ago a major distraction was posed by a classmate who believed that my French class was her lunchtime. Immediately after opening up the tupperware lid to her strongly dressed salad, the acidic smell of vinaigrette wafted across the classroom and into the nose of every other student and the teacher. This disruptive behavior distracted the entire class, hurting the ability of the students to be able to focus and learn. It was a truly selfish and heinous crime.

Eating in class, affects everyone in the room, disrupting students from their learning and preventing teachers from teaching.

So teachers, come down hard on anyone who dares to attempt such representable behavior, and students, if you’re hungry, wait until after class to eat. Better yet, use lunch to actually eat your lunch — that’s what it’s for.