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Old 02-02-2006, 07:42 PM   #1
Cristy
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knitting during lectures..rude or acceptable?
I often knit in public...doctor's offices, the park, the coffee shop, etc...today, I attended a conference for work. Today was the pre-conference actually and it was really geared towards parents of children with autism (and I'm a service provider). The entire 8 hours was lecture style and I am quite the auditory learner--so I broke out my knitting and got a lot done. I didn't get funny looks or anything (other folks were doing paperwork, etc.) but on my way home, I was wondering if I offended anyone--I wouldn't want to seem rude or uninterested. I was nodding in agreement and verbally participating when appropriate so I think it was obvious that I was doing more than just occupying a chair. Anyway--I was wondering what you guys think--was it inappropriate for me to knit? There were probably 150 in the room--we were in a large lecture hall/conference room. I don't think I'd do it in a small lecture where I might distract the speaker--in this lecture--I doubt as if the speaker even noticed I was there.

Gimme some input folks...
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:45 PM   #2
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I definitely do not think it was wrong. Certainly you can knit and listen to someone speaking at the same time. (And I'm sure doing paperwork takes no less concentration.) So I wouldn't worry a bit about it. :D
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:47 PM   #3
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Whenever there are meetings either small ones at school, or large district meetings, I always knit. There are usually several other knitters in the larger groups, too. I pay better attention when I knit. The part of my mind that would normally be thinking about what I'm going to do after school, or what I'm going to make for dinner, etc, etc, is occupied by the knitting so I can give full attention to the speaker.

One speaker was talking about different learning styles, and mentioned the knitters in the audience in a positive way--that we keep from fidgeting by keeping out hands busy, just like the people who doodle on the handouts.

I make a point never to bring a pattern that I have to stick closely to--like a color or cable chart. None of the people I work with have made comments other than in a light, teasing way. When they care to listen, I explain how it makes me a better listener.
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Old 02-02-2006, 07:59 PM   #4
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If I want to knit during my university classes, I'll sit near the back and do my thing. I don't personally think it's rude so long as you make sure you're paying attention visibly. I know I can be watching my knitting and still pay attention at the same time, but I feel rude if I do that. I can knit simple patterns without looking at them, so those are what I bring to school. Since you were actually participating in the discussion, I don't think anyone would have seen you as rude or inattentive.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:18 PM   #5
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are you kidding? i kick myself everytime i decide to not bring stuff with me. i am inclined to believe that the people doing paperwork were more likely to not be paying attention than you were. knit away!
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:23 PM   #6
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My anatomy teacher is particularly impressed that I have never taken a single page of notes and that I knit and crochet in class - Yet I pass all of the tests with usually no more than one or two wrong.

I don't think it's being rude unless they ask you not to.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:28 PM   #7
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Thanks guys--I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong and the pattern was one that wasn't complicated. I also noticed that I seemed to be paying better attention. I just wanted some input--my ideas aren't always kosher w/ the general public...
I (of course, given my profession) subscribe to the idea that people learn in VERY different ways and that the traditional view of "attending to a task" isn't very reliable (meaning that I believe you don't have to be looking at someone to be listening or paying attention). I am a fiddler (not the kind that has an instrument but the kind that plays with things) so knitting is a great way for me to be occupied and quiet at the same time!

I got a lot done--I was very excited!
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:29 PM   #8
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I knit in class from time to time (it really helps me keep awake and pay attention), but unlike Aiden here, I've got to take notes too, so I only bring something that doesn't take much attention to a pattern so I can keep putting it down to pick up my pencil.

I always feel a little bad about it though.
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Old 02-02-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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I'm not a note-taker either so I understand Aidan...

sogrammatical--it looks like you shouldn't feel bad...the consensus is that it's okay!
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Old 02-02-2006, 09:28 PM   #10
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*sigh* ok.. i know this is going to make me unpopular BUT.... :(

I'm a university professor and if i saw someone knitting in my class i would ask them to put it away or leave with no second thoughts. Maybe i'm old-school, but i think that when you're in class your role for that time increment is to be that of a student - paying attention, respecting the time i put into my lectures and the time i take to present them. Teaching isn't a lark - it's incredibly time consuming. I take my role as educator seriously, i would hope my students would too.

Now i know that some of you have said that it helps you pay better attention, and i don't dispute that, but i think it comes down to a respect thing. I wouldn't like it. And if i DID have a student who wasn't taking notes or was knitting and then came to ask me a question i had already covered, i'd assume it wasn't because they didn't understand the material, but that it was because they weren't paying close enough attention.

So yeah - i would hate it. School is for school, home or leisure time is for knitting (and my lectures aren't leisure!). Sometimes life is regimented and it's not a bad thing. I don't knit while i lecture (or listen to music, or send text messages, or surf the internet or do any of those other things my students love to do even if i wanted to!), so i'd find it disrespectful if others did. I'm pretty sure a lot of my colleagues feel the same.

just my $0.02 from my side of the fence..
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