Please turn off all cell phones prior to reading this article. That probably sounds odd because print materials don’t print such a disclaimer – yet. But go see any movie, orchestra or a cappella performance, and you will surely hear some friendly reminder to silence your 50 Cent high definition ring tone before the event commences.I’ve seen more than one person groan at the annoying announcement during movie previews, but then secretly turn off their phone when no one’s looking. Embarrassment and public humiliation are driving forces in the cell phone off movement – no one wants to be the guy whose high- pitched Petey Pablo “Freek-a-Leek” chorus interrupts the climax of the latest Lindsay Lohan flick.Somehow, the same instinct against embarrassment fails to act in the classroom. After well over a month of class, I still have yet to go one week without having someone’s cell phone “blow up” during a lecture. Sometimes the cell criminal turns beet red and silences his or her phone after the first ring. Other times he or she hits the silence button only to have the phone ring again within minutes. This pattern can repeat two or three times – very similar to continuously whacking the snooze button in the morning. More often, the phone rings three or more times until the professor stops class and the guilty party finally realizes, “Oh, it is my phone!”In one of my classes last week, a phone felon stood up and left the room to take the call! I can understand where it may be an emergency, but in this case, the recipient calmly walked back into class and sat down as if nothing had happened. The whole situation was completely disrespectful to the professor and the rest of the class.I fear we are rapidly approaching the days where people will let their phones ring as long as is necessary to listen to the entire rap/pop/hip-hop single currently downloaded to their phone before answering in the middle of a professor’s lecture. Maybe the call will be important enough to pause class in order to take it on speaker phone.While some cell situations might give the class a chuckle – “Mom, I can’t talk right now because I’m in class!” – the majority are just plain obnoxious. A professor shouldn’t have to stand in front of class each day and give a friendly reminder to turn off all cellular phones and communication devices. Please, for everyone’s sanity, familiarize yourself with the vibrate feature that comes with most phones and get in the habit of powering off before entering the classroom. Borchardt can be reached at

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