Is there anything I can do as a fellow student to get them to stop? Because of the age difference, I'm afraid most of them would think I was being bossy.
- Anonymous in California
DEAR ANONYMOUS: The teacher you describe does not appear to be a particularly effective one or she would have better control of the classroom.
Because you can't hear the lecture, I have two suggestions: The first is to speak privately with the teacher. And if that doesn't do the trick, when the students around you become disruptive, ask them to pipe down so you can hear what the instructor is saying. You paid for the class and you should get your money's worth.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I often go out to eat at local ethnic restaurants with a group of friends. When we're at a Mexican restaurant, I often throw a couple of "arribas!" into our conversation. When we're at an Italian restaurant, I will sometimes use an Italian accent to say "pizza pie-a!" My husband tells me it's offensive.
My comments are made in the spirit of fun. Furthermore, the owners and servers at these restaurants are hardly ethnic Mexicans or Italians.
What do you think?
- Muy Caliente in Iowa
DEAR MUY CALIENTE: When you visit a Jewish deli do you tell the server, "Oy vey, I'll have the corned beef"? Your husband is right - cool it. Not because you'll offend the servers in the restaurant, but because stereotyping makes you look like a fool.