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Opinion

Eavesdropping can be an educational experience

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September 17, 2010

Ask anyone what their favorite day of the week is. Actually, don’t bother; of course they will answer Monday. Especially if the Monday in question is the first of a new school year. Who doesn’t love waking up at six, no six thirty, actually, make that seven, just to go sit in a cold, hard plastic desk chair and listen to a lecture about the integrative model of social work? Yeah, right.

(By the way, if this describes you perfectly, quit being such a prude and go do something crazy. Preferably not something illegal, I don’t condone crime, but go have some ridiculous fun. This can be achieved in several different ways, but that is for another column.)

Anyhow, fortunately for all of us anti-meridiem haters and loathers of monotonous lectures, the good students of UW-River Falls know how to keep things interesting and, surprisingly, educational. Eavesdropping on your fellow classmates will bring you knowledge that cannot be found in textbooks. You don’t believe me? Or maybe you adhere to the misconception that eavesdropping is negative. Possibly, in some situations, this might be true, but if your neighbors are speaking audibly, the information is fair game. So go on and have a listen, but beware dear reader, for you are entering a territory uncharted. I promise that you will learn things that are incredibly useful, as well as things you never knew you wanted to learn in the first place.

For example, one of my friends was just telling me the other evening about the perils of getting the terrifying Brazilian bikini wax. Shocked, I politely told her that I didn’t want to know about insane wax artists telling patients to “raise their legs to the sky and spread them like birds’ wings” and how she had to ice pack her crotch for an hour afterwards to numb the pain, or that she had a rather difficult time walking the rest of the day. I mean, this story was too much information. My friend replied that she thought so too, but she couldn’t help to overhear this poor girl’s painful confession before class earlier that day. But there you are ladies, and/or men, now you know just how incredibly painful a Brazilian bikini wax can be, whether you wanted to or not.

Okay, not all the information you will overhear will be so gruesome. For instance, earlier today I heard a couple of guys talking before class about how one would think Cocoa Puffs and chocolate milk should be wonderful together. Their reasoning was that everyone loves Cocoa Puffs and everyone loves chocolate milk, so combined we should have a bowl of double chocolaty goodness. Apparently, this seemingly infallible combination creates disaster for your taste buds. Can you imagine where you would be without this vital piece of knowledge? Perhaps you would have wasted a bowl of perfectly delectable Cocoa Puffs and a tasty glass of chocolate milk. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” Word.

Perhaps now you can plainly see the significance of tuning in on your classmates’ conversations. Doing so may brighten your morning, keep you from making an embarrassing, if not agonizing, mistake, save you precious cereal and teach you something you thought you would never need to know. Eavesdropping is an essential life skill that supplies you with valuable life lessons. So open your ears UWRF, and brace yourselves for exciting student pearls of wisdom.

Ashley Cress is a student at UW-River Falls.