GHAZI | Silence Is Participation Too

Whoever first said to think before you speak evidently never took a course that graded their participation. Before I came to Cornell, I dreamed of college classrooms with endless conversation. Now, in my final semester, my learning usually happens when I’m silent — truncated by empty comments born from the hollow frames of other empty comments. 

A word salad of unprofound buzzwords emerges when an unprovocative reading meets a room of seasoned skimmers who yearn for an A. Participation may count for 25 percent or more of a final grade, leading to a performance to cushion it. Participation for the sake of participation wastes tuition dollars, time and a professor’s expertise. We must swap our limited definition of participation for one that rewards silence, encourages listening and steers us to material that cues discussion on subjects worthy of contention.

BHOWMICK | The Rest Is Silence

The flipside of being aware and constantly thinking, questioning and critically analyzing everything we come across is the sheer anxiety it translates into. As someone who has struggled with a mind that does not believe in quietude, I have been thinking deeply of silence of late. Silence is powerful. Yes, it makes us uncomfortable but embracing silence makes a world of a difference. This is especially relevant in our microcosm on the Hill.