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Sounds we’ll miss from the lecture hall

January 15, 2021

During a normal semester, we get wrapped up in the routine of sitting in lecture halls, writing our notes, and just accepting the environment of other people around us. With no mute button or webcam toggle (short of just closing your own eyes) to filter out the activities of your fellow classmates - we just begin accepting things that would, in any other environment, be socially unacceptable. With the Fall semester closing in, I’ve been taking time to reflect on some of the sounds that make the lecture halls of Ontario Tech so special- reminding us all that almost nothing can replace an authentic university experience. 

The league player

This person is in every class, you might not know it, but I guarantee you that they’re there. Usually seated exclusively in the back of the class, you can identify this person by the non-stop clicking of their external mouse. Occasionally letting out a sigh of extreme frustration followed by some keyboard clacking, you may think they’ve started typing notes, but fear not, they’re 100% phased out of class and almost definitely taking the time to flame their team over text. Luckily for you, the rhythmic tapping of obsessively moving their champion across Summoner’s Rift merges nicely into the background of the lecture hall, adding a beautiful beat to the soundscape. 


Look, school is hard and the brain needs food, okay? If the only snacks around are potato chips, can you blame the person for struggling to open the bag? The sound of the bag crinkling around as they try to sneakily open it is the ultimate test of patience and focus in the lecture hall. These sounds are a necessity for a smooth transition into the workspace. Bonus points if you’re able to get through hearing the munching of chips throughout class - they might mute themselves online, but when things get back to normal, you’ll wish you were acclimated to this sound a heck of a lot earlier

Auditory confirmation

These sounds come from people who just want to make sure that you understand that they understand. The confirmation of knowledge flowing through their brain adds a beautiful hint of wonder to the sounds of the lecture hall. You’ll occasionally get an “Ooooh!”, a “huh!” or an “OH OKAY” from various positions within the lecture hall. Now you know that they understand what’s going on, it's time to do the same.

The projector

Every good scene is set with some form of ambience. This often takes the form of lighting, but nothing sets the scene better than the not-so-quiet hum of the projector on the lecture hall ceiling. The projector often sinks into the background, melting into the words our professor speaks. The projector’s ever-present, calming buzz provides the backdrop for the rest of our sounds to flourish off of, and for that, we are forever grateful.