Think before posing question in class, spare other students

You are in class diligently listening to the lecture. The professor is finishing up explaining a relatively obvious concept you – and seemingly everyone else – understand and is now preparing to move on to the next topic.

Your eyes wander to an individual in the second or third row, with a puzzled expression on their face, similar to that of George W. Bush in a debate.

Their hand creeps skyward as they decide they cannot figure this out on their own and have an inquiry.

While observing this, you may be thinking to yourself, “I wonder what stimulating intellect this person may bring to the class.”

You could not be more wrong.

The ensuing question is so stupid, so idiotic, you nearly laugh out loud, and the professor is wondering how on earth this person made it past dodgeball in grade school.

Yes, this is the “dumb-question person.”

Everyone has experienced this person at some point or another.

In every major, every topic and on all sorts of assignments, these people come out of the woodwork to fascinate all with their wit.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone has asked a dumb question at some point. Its usually a product of not paying attention or a distraction that caused you to miss a vital point.

I am referring to the consistent, day-to-day, never-ending slew of questions from one individual throughout the course of a semester.

In one of my classes the questions were so frequent I started writing them down to share with peers for later personal enjoyment.

If you are reading this article and thinking to yourself, “That’s not true Ross, I’m a senior, and I haven’t heard any dumb questions in any of my classes.”

Listen closely. YOU are that person.

I know it seems like a shock now, but it isn’t to anyone else.

These people are clueless to their own lack of judgment like a 6-year-old left alone with permanent markers and an expensive couch.

A close cousin to the stupid question individual, we have the “two cents person.”

This person firmly believes every personal experience remotely related to the subject at hand needs to be shared.

These personal anecdotes can be informative, but often they annoy and increase the individual’s chances of being hit with a large object.

However, there is a solution to this madness.

If you have a question, instead of mindlessly raising your hand for the easy answer, try to work it out yourself.

If you stop and think about what you are actually about to ask, chances are there is an easy answer.

As for the storytellers, when you feel a “relevant” anecdote coming on, ask yourself three questions: 1) Will everyone understand the concept better if I share this information? 2) Has the professor moved on to another subject and my story is no longer needed? and 3) Have there been three other stories similar to mine already shared?

I personally guarantee that by following these steps you will stop hearing those groans of displeasure and sighs of contempt.

People should just stop and actually think about what they are about to say, thus eliminating 70 percent of stupid questions.

For the other 30 percent, hope is not all lost, I hear Geraldo is looking for new material.

Ross Johnson is a senior advertising/public relations major from The Woodlands.