DeVito's speech from Other People's Money

Duke student asks an interesting question. I just wish she had a better answer.

Believe it or not, I'm actually typing this column while sitting in the back of one of my classes. I won't tell you which class, because that could threaten my participation grade, which I sorely need. This will be our little secret.

Right now I am sketchily hunched over my laptop, peering around to make sure my fellow classmates don't realize what's going on. I fear that they, along with the professor, will discover that I am not actually a digital hipster student of the 21st century taking notes on the computer, but rather someone who just doesn't want to pay attention during her last lecture class before Spring Break.

As I defensively glance around the room, I realize that I am not alone in pulling off this brilliant ruse. Even the students without laptops are either doodling in their notebooks or awkwardly flipping through a copy of The Chronicle balanced between their knees and the desk.

And it occurred to me: Why are we here?

Why are our parents paying $45,000 so we can do the Sudoku while a high-strung Ph.D. student talks at us for 75 minutes?

Because the fact is, we just aren't listening anymore.