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To my early-morning class professors, a mea culpa:

As my last year at Penn begins, I would like to take a moment to apologize for my classmates and myself. Our Blackberries may be buzzing, and we might be “taking notes” on our MacBooks — emphasis on might — but we do still care about what you’re teaching.

So, first, I apologize for being late. Today it was only two minutes — much better than last week’s 15 minutes — but still. It was rude and I apologize. I wish I could blame something, someone else — my housemate had a breakfast emergency, I had to help a lost dog, Locust foot traffic was really killer. But really, it’s my own fault. I slept late or stopped at Starbucks (even though the line was actually out the door), and I know I should plan better.

I’m also aware I’m slurping that iced coffee I just had to stop for. (Don’t worry, my sister hates the slurping, too) Same goes for the crunching from my granola bar; I’ll stop.

And a word on my missed classes: I swear I am not making these Jewish holidays up, and yes, they do occur once a week for a month. My weekends are killed right now between celebrating the New Year, atoning for my sins, eating lunch in a hut and dancing with the Torah.

I’m sorry I keep using my Blackberry — I’m addicted to checking my e-mail (or so my friends say). And while it is very nice of you, and the whole class really, to pretend to not hear the buzz emanating from said Blackberry that I so surreptitiously placed under my desk, I know you hear. I’m sorry.

And while we’re at it, my apologies for looking at and checking out what’s new at the J.Crew web site. Even though I swear I can take notes, listen to lecture and buy a new tweed skirt at the same time, I understand why you would be miffed.

Here’s the thing though: the lateness? Sometimes my housemate does have a breakfast emergency, and sometimes foot traffic slows me down. And those holidays? They are pretty important to me, and I’d like to say thanks for understanding that and giving me some slack.

As for the Blackberry/Internet conundrum: I know you would like my full attention. The unfortunate thing about my attention is its span is pretty short, and once in a while minor distractions like tweed skirts on sale keep me on track. It’s not that I’m not paying attention, and I take pretty good notes, if I do say so myself. And sometimes I am doing extra research on something you just said. It interested me, and I wanted to know more. I just need multiple things going on to keep me from spacing out and missing everything. It’s just the way I’m wired.

From now on, though, I promise to try my hardest to pay attention and come to class on time. I’m a senior, and I only have a semester and a half left at Penn — I want to take advantage of that. Even if I weren’t a senior, though, it cost a lot of money, and I worked unbelievably hard to get here, and a large part of the reason I’m here is to learn. And I like learning! Love it!

Because as a student, I admit, I’m not perfect. So let’s compromise — I’m honestly going to make an effort, but please be understanding when I slip. Silent mode will now be employed and fewer gossip web sites clicked on. But I hope you do know it’s not that I’m not listening to you, and I apologize if you ever thought that in the first place. See you on the Walk, and thanks.



P.S. I apologize for starting this column in class. It won’t happen again. And for any of my classmates who may currently be reading this in lecture.

Arielle Kane is a College senior from Briarcliff Manor, NY. Her e-mail address is

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