Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. The students who pack up five minutes before class ends.

They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for retractable desks. With five minutes left to finish, they don’t simply fold their tables back. No, these nonconformists slam them back. Five minutes left of lecture and suddenly the monotony is silenced. The foolish professor tries to go on, uttering: “watch out for,” “common mistake,” “definitely on the exam,” but these phrases fall on deafened ears. Instead, all we hear is the jostling of rickety tables creaking back. Five minutes left of lecture, this rebel orchestra loves to make music with its woodwind instruments.

Now, you can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. The backpack shoved in your face makes sure of that. With five minutes left to finish, one might think a fire has broken out with their fury in packing up. But no, this is simply the nature of the beast. Before you know it, you’re no longer looking at the keys on your laptop, typing away at final lecture notes. Instead, Corinthian leather straps and a steel “Nerd? I prefer the term intellectual badass” button grinds across your cheek. Backpacks swing out of nowhere and flash into view. What was before an erect state of concentration has now collapsed due to these premature ejectors and their strap ons. These students simply can’t last another five minutes.

They change things. They push the class forward. By five minutes to be exact. Sure, some may argue that we keep falling behind in material; that we aren’t learning what we need to know; that we are missing today what may help us cure diseases, save lives, and create our tomorrows; that we are wasting our in-state scholarships and this writer’s out-of-state, $60,000-a-year tuition. But hey, at least we finish class five minutes early. Isn’t that what college is all about?

While some may see them as crazy ones, I see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. So, here’s to standing up against the times. Here’s to seeing things the way they do. Here’s to the students who pack up five minutes before class ends. Here’s to abrupt endings and

Image Courtesy of Alan Levine