Cellular Divide

Professors at the University of Miami have no sympathy for student emergencies. While they may be great researchers, and a selected few great teachers, they fail to understand that when a student’s cell phone rings, it’s always an emergency.
Today’s college student lives under a lot of pressure. The student of the 21st century lives in a very demanding environment. We are expected to be connected to the world-our own and beyond-at all times. We are expected to keep up 24-7 with Osama, the Taliban, Harry Potter, Cruise and Cruz, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, massage therapists, personal trainers, football scores, lotto numbers, the latest designer drugs-and still pay attention in class. That’s a load, and in this age of multi-tasking, there’s so much we can do. One missed call could ruin a life. No call must be left immediately unanswered.
I don’t own a cell phone, but I find it offensive when professors ask students to turn off their incredible shrinking Nokias or worse-leave the room when the tiny gadgets fill the room with Beethoven’s Ninth or La Cucaracha. It is you who should leave. Give the students some privacy.
I empathize with those students who are blasted for letting their phone ring and responding to local and global emergencies. Especially the women. They risk losing a week’s worth of life should they not pick up immediately. That one call could be the tanning salon trying to confirm the weekly appointment. Or the beautician trying to reschedule the weekly waxing session, daily facial or collagen shot. Or worse-the plastic surgeon trying to confirm the weekly tummy-tuck. What if they were the last to know about Prada’s burka fashion show in Milan or the latest gossip on their best friend’s lover’s drinking binge? Or what if the United States found Osama? That could throw their weekly schedule into a tailspin, which would require them to immediately reschedule their activities.
Students, carry on. Don’t hesitate to interrupt class to tend to your emergencies. The lectures, professors, will have to wait.

Margarita MartIn-Hidalgo is a senior majoring in print journalism and international studies.