Kids, one thing you need to know about your college classroom is that you don’t choose the place where you sit in class. The place chooses the student, Harry. As the semester progresses, you will find yourself automatically gravitating to the position in class that best fulfills your needs, and in many ways even defines your personality. Most of those needs aren’t educational.
At the very beginning of the year, the first benches are the home of the Ravenclaws. These are the souls hungriest for the fruit of knowledge. As the semester progresses, they drift away and are replaced by those who are hungry for the signals of WiFi. (Surprisingly enough, it’s mostly the same people)
You see, the professors tend to believe that the first few benches are particularly charmed in a way that forces every student who sits there to be studious, attentive, scoring, you name it. While teaching, where do they look? To the back. To the middle. To the left. To the right. To the floor. To the ceiling. To the projector. Never, ever at the front. And once you students realise this, the front benches become reserved for the Slytherins of the class; those who spend their time with their phone under the desk, reading, texting and playing 2048 because Candy Crush is passé.
The seats bordering the centre aisle are exceptions to the front bench rule. At whatever distance those seats are from the projector screen, they receive maximum attention. As professors imposingly stalk back and forth along the aisle (which they do all the time though in some cases the ‘imposing’ part is questionable), these are the seats that never escape their notice. Any hapless soul who has spent all the previous lectures crossing levels on candy crush will find themselves forced to pay attention to the class if they happen to sit here. And hence these benches are usually reserved for the Ravenclaws and/or the unlucky ones. If you’re coming late to class, beware: you might just get a detention.
The same teachers who think the first benches are under a magic spell that does their job for them also believe that the back benches are the location of a never-ending, wild orgy. And let’s be honest, they’re not far from the truth. The back benches are for the Gryffindors, the daring, courageous souls who’ll talk and laugh with their friends (the ones sitting beside them, not the ones WhatsApping them) as loudly as they want to and are prepared to bear the wrath of the teacher if necessary. It usually is. If you’re the brave at heart, the back benches are where you should go.
That leaves two wedges of the classroom on either side, also known as the middle benches. The mid-benches are for the Hufflepuff; the everyday, regular student who doesn’t quite know what he is going to do in class that day. Perhaps he will read the next chapter of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; perhaps this is the day that he gets kicked out of class for laughing too much at that joke your typical Gryffindor kept making. Or perhaps he’ll get inspired by the Ravenclaws and actually study (Yeah, right). Who knows? But one thing is clear: the Hufflepuff always has some food. And for this we shall forever be grateful to them.
Co-authored by Debrup Dutta and Shriya Atmakuri