Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Class Tool

Starting from at least fourth grade, there's a person in every class who's universally reviled and justifiably given the side-eye. I'm not talking about someone who's teased and bullied for no good reason. I'm talking about The Class Tool. You know, the person who's chatting up the teacher before, during, and after class: contradicting, second-guessing, and/or obsequiously agreeing with everything he or she says. The person who is so annoying, that even the teacher obviously cannot deal. A friend of mine recently took an EMT re-certification class for his job. He described to me how even in a three-day, professional, adult education class, there was STILL that person who was being a total know-it-all, ass-kissing, teacher's pet--complete with bullshitting that cut into everyone's 30-minute lunch break. 

It goes to show that The Class Tool never stops tooling around. The guy who was always asking the teacher to re-count the points on his test. The girl who was constantly angling for extra credit. These people exist outside an official academic environment, long after school lets out. Even when they're not being graded, The Class Tool still somehow needs to show everyone that they're all straight-A's. I guess that's what's interesting about The Class Tool: that it's not really about the goal. Like it's not about the good grade, re-certification, whatever. It's about making sure everyone around you knows you exist, even if you're oblivious to how annoying your existence is to everyone around you. This is what I call "The Paradox of The Class Tool." 

There's another memorable class character as well, but this one is usually short-lived, emerging only between kindergarten and sixth grade. It's "The Kid Who Threw Up." Think about it. You totally remember the kid who threw up on the floor in class that one time. 

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