Although All-School Meetings may not always be the most interesting or well-liked place to be before lunches, we at the UV find the number of girls who disrespect both guest speakers and their fellow students to be unacceptable. No matter how dull an announcement or presentation may be, whoever is standing at the front of Caswell Hall deserves your attention and silence. As students, we need to represent the School as well-mannered, considerate individuals.
Science instructor Lisa Ellis spoke to students during a recent ASM about this inadequate behavior. Her straightforward approach was a valuable wake-up call, and we believe all students need to take her words to heart.
ASMs are falsely branded as having a seemingly endless line-up of boring speakers, which is inaccurate since in reality not that many speakers come to Marlborough (only two out of the last five ASMs have featured a guest speaker). ASMs are only 40 minutes, and the speakers usually only talk for about 30. If we can sit through a 75-minute period and listen to a teacher speak, then we should be able to sit in a chair for 30 minutes and pay attention to a speaker. If you really do not care to listen to what is being said, then you should at least act as though you care. Playing with other girls’ hair, whispering to your neighbor or making funny faces at people is not appropriate behavior to engage in when a speaker is talking.
Imagine if you were the one standing up there, and your major points were failing to reach the audience. Put yourself in the position of any speaker talking to 530 students and seeing them fidget. How would you feel? How do you feel when giving a presentation in class and you accidentally fumble with your words? Now maximize that embarrassment by 100 and you’ll begin to understand how nerve-racking and scary it is to stand up in front of 530 students and speak.
ASMs are a place to forget about the test you have coming up, relax and listen. Speakers such as Marilee Potthoff, who spoke about ears have received the very worst of the students’ attention and disrespect because girls seemed very unenthusiastic about ears. And yet the ASM about ears was especially relevant in our lives since a lot of us go to concerts and blast music in our headphones. If you give the speakers a chance instead of assuming that the topic is stupid or boring, you might learn something new and important or discover a significant new passion or hobby. Faculty and club presidents have spent a great deal of time trying to find speakers to educate the community. Students may not fully understand or care about what they have to say but we should at least give the speaker a chance.