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MANNO: What your seat choice says about you

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Why do we choose the seats we do? As a back-seater most of my life, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I may have missed a few lessons here and there. I suppose they would have given my report card a little kick, but too late for that. Now, well into my college years, it’s time for a change. I knew I was probably going to pick the same spot for the rest of the semester, so I chose wisely for the first days of classes. I’m sure there’s some intense psychoanalytical hypothesis as to why I chose each seat, but we’ll set that aside for now. Let me break my day down for you.

Front row, middle seat: Maybe it’s the half-gallon of coffee, or maybe it’s the fact I started class bright and early (1 p.m.). Regardless, it’s my first class of the year, and I’m feeling an extra air of confidence (flashback to fourth grade, when I kept cool and spiked my hair into “the wall” for the first day). New notebook, well rested, even wearing a clean t-shirt. Is it odd that I’m the first one to class and chose to sit here?  Hmm. Well maybe I’ll get brownie points from the professor. I mean it’s always good for us to be up front for learning purposes, right? Surely I haven’t become a teacher’s pet. This is the place to be. Plus I’m not looking at the back of some guy’s prematurely balding head the whole time.

Middle row, far left seat: Second class. The worst part about this spot is the position of the clock: right above my head, as my desk is smashed up against the wall. Normally I like to take a peek at the time here and there, especially during my hour-fifteeners. It helps me get a grasp of how much brain pain is left. Sometimes it’s good to make comparisons: “25 minutes left… so about one episode of Friends...” I have to be careful, though. Straining my neck to look at the clock is the third best way to irritate a professor, only behind texting and packing up the notebook 30 seconds early. It’s a trap!

Back right, close to the window: A distracting selection. I must have been lord of the stage in a past life because my acting skills come out full-force here. Currently working on sleeping with my eyes open. It’s hard to drag through three straight classes, so I may as well slide under the radar for this last one. By now the coffee has worn off, and my eyelids are like falling anvils. Thank goodness this is the last class of the day. Back here, I can sit back and watch the Milwaukee weather transform from 75 and sunny to 45 with sideways rain by time class is over. Just look at the way the trees sway… it almost… makes me… fall… a… ZZZZZZZ …

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