Everyone Knows You’re Playing Rummikub

By: Shira Kramer  |  May 10, 2024

By Shira Kramer, Senior Opinions Editor and Social Media Manager

In today’s world, laptops out during class are generally a given. If a professor doesn’t allow a laptop, they are labeled evil and no one wants to take their classes. However, when you’re in a class filled with students on laptops, how many people are actually taking notes?

While I have no real statistics, I would garner that many of my classmates are either online shopping or playing a game like 1010. My poison is the online version of Rummikub. I only recently learned about it and now I’m addicted. 

At the beginning of this semester, I wanted to make a friend in class. So, I sat next to a girl that I had a class with the previous semester. In the class I had taken with her before, she was always so invested in her laptop. Funny enough, I thought she was taking serious notes. It turns out that she was actually playing Rummikub the whole time. In an effort to solidify our friendship, I began playing Rummikub with her. Now, I’m addicted. 

Even though I know that I am not alone with my distractions, playing these games is killing the ultimate win: taking good notes in class. Like you might have guessed, classes on zoom only make this issue worse. Zoom opens the door for watching Netflix or having phone conversations you couldn’t partake in before without the ability to hit a mute button.

Unfortunately, the Gen Z short attention span is entering the classroom at a fast pace. I don’t know whether it’s TikTok, Instagram or watching too much TV, but students these days can’t even listen to a class lecture without multitasking and doing something else. 

Sometimes I even convince myself that I am being a good student by multitasking with another class’s work instead of playing games. Of course, this work would probably take half the time if I was actually listening to the original lecture. So, it’s a vicious cycle.

The thing about distractions during class is that they are always a downward spiral. It’s usually not just one game of 1010, rather one day you see a friend playing the game and the next thing you know you’re ten lectures behind your genetics professor. 

So, when you’re deep in it, is it impossible to dig yourself out of this hole? Honestly, I have no clue. While I’ve tried many times, the truth is that students have to take every class on a professor to professor basis. 

As we close in on finals season, I find myself scrambling to find the notes that I missed from class while I was playing Rummikub. Although I could probably ace a final on how to add numbers up to thirty (that’s how you get your first tile set onto the board), I have no idea what I’ve learned in my Judaics class.

Another thing about these games: try playing them outside of class and chances are you’ll be bored out of your mind. Games like 1010, Rummikub and Google snake aren’t games that the average person plays on their own. However, they are great to tune out a boring lecture.

I’m going to tell myself that next semester will be better. I hope and pray that I will stop the distractions and just take notes. Sadly, I fear that these wishes will be as successful as my New Year’s resolution to go to Planet Fitness. That 12 minute walk down 34th is just too long so even then I take out my phone to play bubble pop while waiting at the red lights.