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Aimee's picture


 As my class has mentioned a dozen times already, Paul's students are very, very loud. Overwhelmingly so. Although I thought they were quite hospitable toward us strange, quiet folk, I still felt out of place among them. Our class is quiet, but there's a clear and even ratio between those who enjoy voicing their opinions, and those who need coercion to speak. Paul's class had no obvious distinctions. Everyone was talking; some participated readily in the class discussion, yet many other students seemed to hold private conversations through whispers and sideways glances. I was not offended by that class' tendency to interrupt the speaker, but the side conversations bothered me. I believe you (this being the universal "you") should share your thoughts or shut up. Side conversations are exclusive...and for newcomers, slightly foreboding.

Of course, I only spent 1 1/2 hours in Paul's class. Perhaps the unique arrangement of the room caused some people to sequester their conversations. They do seem awfully nice, so I probably just experienced a culture shock. But that "culture shock" led me to wonder how Paul's class formed such a unique culture to begin with. What is the culture of noise?

Can noise be a culture? For my purposes, yes. Let's call it something conventional - extroversion. Extroverts are social butterflies: loud, effervescent, and comfortable around people. I define them so easily because I know they're everything I'm not. Extroversion is a very individualistic culture; personality is the extrovert's only defining, unifying feature, since his/her interests and tastes vary. How does one become an extrovert or an introvert? How does one become any personality-type? By birth? By evolution? Discuss. 






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