If I don’t want to talk in my seminar, you can’t make me
I’m keeping my beaut ideas about surrealism to myself
I know seminars are specifically designed to encourage discussion but if the quiet ones among us don’t want to talk, we don’t have to.
Sometimes I’m silent because I am thinking about what has been said. There are some pretty mind blowing ideas thrown at you when you go to university, particularly if you study Philosophy, and sometimes these take a little while to process.
Other times I have some cracking ideas but I simply don’t want to share them. Call me selfish or whatever, but its a dog eat dog world out there and if I have a brilliant idea for an essay, I’m not about to give it to the rest of you. There are only so many firsts to go around.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes my peers have some mighty insightful remarks to make and I sit there in awe of their comments. But frankly, I came to university to get my degree and thus I came to this seminar hear what the lecturer has to say, not to hear you spout some crap you read on Spark Notes last night. Lets be honest, anyone of us could have done that, in fact the reality is we probably have, so we all know where your remarks come from and we are just wishing you would shut up.
I pay £9,000 a year, so who can blame me for wanting to hear more from my lecturer than from my class mates. It’s the lecturer who will be marking my essay or setting my exam, I want to hear from them because their knowledge is far superior. Sometimes, you just gotta listen.
If I genuinely have nothing valuable to contribute to the discussion why would I bother opening my mouth and wasting my energy and everyone’s precious time? Some times our brains just aren’t feeling it and nothing remotely intelligent is generated. Or we are just hung over. Either way, leave me alone, if I want to stay silent I will.
Finally, talking in a seminar opens you up to being seriously shot down or criticized. A friend of mine once pitched an idea in a seminar and was told by a fellow pupil that she was ‘clutching at straws’. Meow. That’s just nasty and I’m not ready to be shamed in such a way. Not to mention the gunning down your lecturer could throw at you. Imagine pitching an idea and being told that you’re flat out wrong by your lecturer of all people. Nope. That does not sound fun.
Am I really hindering your degree by not talking? No. I’m simply highlighting the fact that you can’t deal with awkward silences and I can.