In Defense of Section Kids

By Sophia Salamanca

We at Flyby are not immune to propaganda. Search “section kid” in Flyby’s archives and you’ll find countless posts insulting the overzealous academic archetype. Yes, section kids, a.k.a. the people who talk wayyyy more than anyone else in a section, can be annoying. But it’s time for me to come out of the closet (for the second and far less serious time): I am a section kid.

That’s right. If there’s a moment of silence in my section, I will be filling it with a question, an observation, or a quote from the reading. I don’t raise my hand with the pen in it, but I do raise my hand with my elbow still on the table, which is almost as bad. And if I know the answer to a question, I will be saying that answer. But here’s the thing: you can hate on me all you want — but at the end of the day, who’s keeping you from having to do the reading? Because it sure as hell isn’t the TF.

Do you want to answer that question? No? Yeah, I didn’t think so. And you know who does want to answer that question, because I can’t stand silence and get bored if I have to go ten minutes without hearing the sound of my own voice? Me. So I don’t understand why we can’t both just acknowledge the symbiotic relationship we have going here.

We section kids have feelings too. Shame, for instance, at not being able to keep ourselves from voicing our thoughts (which are, of course, God’s gift to academia) whenever we have something to say. Embarrassment, when the TF inevitably goes, “Anyone else…?” instead of responding enthusiastically to our insightful comments. Yes, you feel boredom and irritation because you’re tired of hearing the admittedly slightly nasal sound of my voice. But I feel betrayal that you don’t understand that we’re on the same side.

So, next time you find yourself complaining about the section kid (without first making sure you’re out of earshot… you know who you are…), remember: we are the engine that runs this campus. We are the mitochondria of this cell. And if you’re here at Harvard, you were probably the section kid in high school, so get off your high horse.

Now, “devil’s advocates,” on the other hand? Absolutely inexcusable. Just stand behind your (bad) opinion already. We section kids do NOT claim them. And kids who wear suits to class can stay, but they’re on thin ice.

Flyby FrontAround Campus

Harvard Today

The latest in your inbox.

Sign Up

Follow Flyby online.