I think it summarizes everything if I just say that I had to go back and make sure this person said he was in college, because that all sounds like something from an elementary school.
American colleges in general seem pretty alien to me. They all seem to treat the students with less respect and faith than my second high-school did - though to be fair, my second high-school was so good because it treated the students with respect.
Nonetheless, one of the big things I always say about "college" here is that the freedom, responsibility and respect you're given by your "teachers" makes it a drastic change from school; it's a different experience, one that's generally pleasant. Like I said, my second high-school did it too and it was far, far superior to the first. You WANT to be there.
I don't get that vibe from what I've heard of American colleges.
Sound like pretentious, restrictive high-schools where some poor bastards have to live on campus. Not saying anything about the quality of the education (I'm well aware American universities provide high quality education), but... wow.
This isn't the first time I've seen someone describing American college life and I've thought they were in junior high/middle-school. The fuck?
For reference, if a lecturer insisted I turn my phone off, or demand that I don't look at it during the lecture, I would be well within my rights to tell them to fuck right off. If it was ringing and disturbing the class, that's one thing, but I am an adult, to be treated as an adult. I will not turn my phone off unless it's my decision, and I may very well need to keep it on in case of emergency.
The people in the forum there saying that "everyone should have their phone off" are still in the high-school mentality. No. The phones should be on silent or vibrate, and it's not the fucking lecturer's business if I decide to play Angry Birds during her presentation on political destabilization in south-east Asia. She's paid to present (regardless of what I do), I pay to be in there, and as long as I don't disrupt the class it's not her business whether that phone is on or off.
This is delaying adulthood. By 18, you're not a "college kid." You're a fucking adult. Act like one, demand to be treated like one. It cuts both ways - don't be a cunt and leave your phone on the loud profile during the lecture, and tell the teacher to fuck off when they demand you hand your phone over to them like you're a fidgeting child in third grade.
Whether the phone "should" be off or not to you doesn't matter. What matters is it's not the lecturer's job to treat his or her students like children to walk all over and dictate to them whether their phones are to be on, off or crammed up their nostrils.
And as for "taking your phone off of you and giving it back next week" absolutely no. I didn't even let my teachers in high-school do that. You're not getting my property. Touch it or insist and I will bring a million tons of legal fuckuppery to your doorstep, or just sock you one in defense of my property. This is not acceptable. College students are not children, and I wouldn't stand for someone taking my child's phone away from them for a week anyway.
Like I said, act like an adult and be treated like one. I'm all in favor of asking a disruptive student to leave a class, I'm not saying I'm not. That is not what this is. Don't pretend otherwise. This is treating adults like kids in a remedial school. It's an attitude problem. :S
Note: Someone in that thread claims that if you use a laptop to take notes, then you're "unprepared." Shouldn't use them. Well, again, it's not the lecturer's business as long as I don't disrupt the class, and I do use laptops to take notes. Many people do. It's far more efficient than writing (though I do have several notepads, etc) and makes organizing your schoolwork/study notes far easier - and more importantly, easier to carry (even young children today carry backpacks that are far too heavy for them).
I cannot believe I just read someone say that you shouldn't use a laptop to take notes in a college class. Wrong. There are middle-schools through to high-schools that encourage the use of laptops and computers during class here. We're supposed to be modernizing schools, and the idea of a college of all places being against using a netbook/laptop for lecture notes is astounding - the main argument against it, that they provide distractions for children in class, especially does not apply to adults who are paying money to be in the class!
That's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Geez.