I recently noticed a girl knitting in one of my class. The professor seemed perfectly ok with this. Doing things this casual in class in China can be very disrespectful. From my experiences with professors from many different places, it seems every culture or even say every individual has their own taboo and bottomline in class.
In most Chinese people’s understanding, drinking is probably alright but eating can be disrespectful. Talking, sleeping is not cool either. In the modern time, you can also add texting or chatting online to the list. So to me, knitting in class is unheard of. I was astounded to be honest.
The strict standard is sort of softened a little bit, probably because the western mind blew in more.
I once had an English teacher Magnus Wilson from London. He was extremely strict about sleeping in class. He wouldn’t even tolerate slacking sitting like putting your head on your folded arms on the table. Whenever he finds one like this, he would definitely be very angry and ask you to go out. He would still put your stuff outside, even after you say sorry and ask for forgiveness.
Another teacher for my English writing class was from Dallas, Texas. David hated to see people eating breakfast in the classroom, no matter in class period or during the break. Our class was an eight o’clock morning session one. His theory was you should prepare yourself fully before you come to class. He has this standard because he gets up at five and believes that students should at least get up at seven. We all live on campus, so one hour is more than enough for a breakfast. Well, what can I say. Back then, normally I just chose to skip breakfast or had it after his class.
There is nothing wrong about this, just sometimes it is weird to me. In-class atmosphere is always too casual for me. Another thing to adjust to.