I know it’s only the second week of classes, and I haven’t had the good fortune to befriend any Irish students yet -so as to debunk the following judgements and generalizations- but I honestly haven’t been getting very positive vibes from my Irish classmates. By and large (and again, I acknowledge what a grievous generalization this is), they are the most apathetic, listless bunch of twenty-somethings I’ve ever encountered, and I go to college in AMERICA. I cannot understate, however, how self-absorbed many of the students around me seem. In the lecture halls, for example, the vast majority make love to their illicit cellphones, hiding them in their laps, their thumbs working furiously and their eyes resurfacing every few seconds as though for air. This goes on for hours, during entire class sessions; behavior so evidently commonplace and unavoidable that even the most lucid of professors -Martin Malony for example- seem to roll over and surrender to the mass sea of vapid and bored lap-obsessed students. Why does the cellphone hysteria feel so much worse here than in the states? Admittedly, my only experience is Western Oregon University, a school whose humble size may help explain its supposed relative respectfulness, but what could be so different between Irish and American students? Surely American students aren’t more invested in their education than their Irish counterparts? But seeing so many of my fellow classmates openly ignoring their educators in favor of snapchat and instagram is very disheartening.