There are quiet moments in which the clarity of reality becomes so blindingly clear that I find myself wordless to express the truths which I feel I know. The pieces fall perfectly into place, and my mind bubbles with realizations, connections, and revelations.
I am alone in the universe, and the sky is open! There is nothing separating our bodies from the yawning cosmos!
But despite the fact that there aren't enough words to say any of these things, there is never enough time. Maybe this is enlightenment, or maybe I'm completely and hopelessly insane.
Those of you who have been in choir (or other classes) with me probably know that I despise "shushing," by fellow students in classroom settings especially (but not exclusively) when it is directed at me. I would like to put forth my primary reasons for this opinion in writing. Any opposing opinions are welcome.
Shushing is actually more audible than talking. This is why it is used as a means of grabbing the attention of surrounding people. I believe that many people misconceive that "shushing" is somehow more benign or less abrasive than talking, rendering it acceptable. In reality, it is louder, and more obnoxious than talking, and only makes the professor's words (which the shusher believes he or she is defending) less audible. Shushing is actually anarchistic, in that it attempts to solve a disordered problem with a more disordered one.
Students do not bear the responsibility to keep classroom order. The teacher is responsible for keeping order in the classroom. If the classroom is out of control to the point of handicapping the learning process, the teacher can and will take action to restore order. This is not a democracy—it is a monarchy, and as such, students who "shush" their peers are in effect attempting to assert an authority equal to that of the professor. This type of assertion is offensive, inappropriate, and in theory, more disrespectful than talking covertly during a lecture.
I have never seen shushing to be effective at silencing a classroom. People simply do not respond to this practice. It is generally reserved for small children, and as such is seen (perhaps subconsciously) as belittling. Furthermore, I have never seen a professor use the expletive "shhhh!" to silence a classroom. There are many more effective ways of accomplishing this goal (when employed by a professor).
In conclusion, we know that shushing is acoustically flawed, socially inappropriate, and pragmatically ineffective. Therefore it is utterly useless in three dimensions. If you are a "shusher," despite the fact that you have almost certainly have noble intentions, please remember that you are only exacerbating the problem of extraneous noise, and potentially offending your colleges. If your ability to hear in a class is inhibited by talking, please politely verbally ask those sitting near you to stop talking.