He Said; She Said: Eating in Class
He Said-Bon Appétit!
Nakul Bhatia (2L)
Is this actually a question…I can’t believe this is even debatable. What are we, in grade 3? It is ALWAYS ok to eat in class!
I am assuming that this topic is relevant because of that crazy student at Osgoode. What did he/she say you ask? The student’s letter to the entire class included such gems as: “I assure you, no judge will allow you to gorge on your bag of chips because you couldn’t sit still for two hours without eating” and “To put it politely, your constant eating/chewing/crunching/the SMELL is wholly distracting the rest of us from learning.” I think it would be best for me to address some concerns I anticipate the other side will be throwing out:
Wait what, you are getting distracted? Is my banana too loud for you? Is my jalapeno cheddar bagel too “crunchy”? Or perhaps my applesauce and/or yogurt is too “sploshy” for the class. If you want to be less distracted…how about you get off Facebook, Pinterest, your phone, and stop talking to your classmates. Perhaps then you can be regaled in the invigorating ideas of “patent unreasonableness”.
It smells? It’s not like anyone is eating liver and onions! If the scent of spaghetti or chicken noodle soup offends you, then I think you have bigger problems.
It’s not professional? Excuuuuse me, but have you heard of common workplace events like a lunch and learn? What about all the lunchtime talks that are held at the law building? Eating and learning are yin and yang; they go together like PB and J, you cant deny it. One related concern is that “judges wont allow you to eat in the courtroom” and thus you shouldn’t eat in class. Well, on the same note, if someone eating chips in class distracts you, I don’t see how you would be able to handle a grade 9 field trip to your client’s possession trial.
Now lets talk about all the reasons why eating in class should be allowed:
1) Because you’re hungry
2) Because you’re bored
3) Because getting through an 8 am class is hard enough, let alone doing it without any sustenance
4) Because my 4 to 7 employment (or insert any other class) class is in my prime eating slot
5) Because Steve sells awesome snacks that are meant to be eaten in class
6) Because having back to back classes is a common reality and a 10 minute break isn’t enough to finish your lunch
7) Because an eating regimen could necessitate you eat every 2 hours
8) Because it fuels your brain
9) Because snacks are important when you are watching those cat videos in class
Of course there are limits. If your food is consistently smelly, if you don’t clean your mess up, or if you chew with your mouth open, then yea, you’re wrong. But those things have nothing to do with eating in class; you just need a lesson in etiquette.
She Said: Eat at your own risk!
Amanda Magee, 3L
Those who know me best are well aware of my distaste for loud eating in quiet places. Anyone who has received a scathing glare from me in the Encana room can probably attribute it to the carrot sticks they were munching on over the course of half an hour (I’m looking at YOU Heather Thompson). While the classroom is a louder and less studious environment (for most of us anyway), I still think some boundaries need to be set when it comes to in-class snacking. Last year, while sleepily walking into my 9am Civ Pro class, I tripped over an electric cord that had been pulled across a row of seats into the row behind it. Assuming it was someone’s laptop cord, I turned to apologize. I quickly found out it wasn’t a laptop, it was a mini rice-maker that was being used to make oatmeal. Hot steamy oatmeal went all over the carpeted floor and onto another student’s school bag. That’s not okay.
Getting up in the mornings sucks, especially in the winter, but there’s no reason you can’t wake up a few minutes earlier to scarf down some breakfast at home. I’m not saying that eating in class is never okay, but anything overly loud like pita chips – which are literally the loudest food on earth – should probably be refrained from chowing down on. This applies especially to classes with vocally-challenged or microphone-less professors. We’re all spending a fortune to attend law school; I want to be able to actually hear what I’m paying for. There are also many times when I have been tortured by the delicious smells of someone else’s meal. That Tupperware full of steaming hot butter chicken you just microwaved in the Gavel and then opened in class: can I have some? My elementary school teachers used to say: if you can’t share it with everyone, then you can’t eat it in class. This should apply to your Edo stir-fry as much as it applied to my Gr. 5 Fruit Roll-Up.
Of course there are some exceptions to my rant: make-up classes scheduled at lunch (O’Byrne’s students, I feel your pain), evening classes that are timed right at dinner, and 3 hour ‘fluff course’ seminars that require serious sugar-fueling to stay conscious. If you find yourself with a grumbling stomach or low blood sugar in class, please go ahead and eat. I’m just saying consider those around you – enjoy some quiet and not overly-smelly foods. Take noisy wrapping fully off when you begin eating so we don’t have to be reminded of your Subway sandwich by loud paper rustling at 2 minute intervals. Save super noisy food for breaks in the Gavel so that your crunching can be drowned out by the thunder of the foosball table. But most of all – save the electric appliances for home use, or next time I “trip” on your oatmeal-filled rice maker… it won’t be an accident.