During a class discussion about voting systems, Wabano wished to express her opinion with a comment she felt was insightful and was eager to share it. Despite furiously waving her arm back and forth to get her teacher’s attention, another student was selected to speak before her.
“I had a choice to make,” the grade ten student explained, “I could put my hand back down and risk the teacher selecting someone else before me again, or I could just keep it up.”
Her efforts did not go unnoticed. “I nodded to her to indicate that she could speak next,” reported her teacher, “but she still kept her hand up anyway. She’s just like that. It’s kind of an impressive feat when you think about it. You try holding your hand up that long. It was completely unnecessary, but impressive nonetheless.”
Wabano, sitting in the front row, did her best not to indicate her impatience with the speaker, but she couldn’t help wiggling the fingers of her raised hand.
“To be honest, I felt like giving up around two and a half minutes,” she admitted. “It started to hurt. But it kept sounding like the talking kid was wrapping things up, so I just couldn’t give up. I had to press on.”
“It’s so annoying when she does that,” said a fellow student that sits behind Wabano in the civics class. “I’m like, ‘Just relax! Let the other dude say his piece and then you can say yours. Quit waving your arm all up in my face!’”
“I thought she just had to go to the washroom,” said another student.
Wabano said she felt “satisfied” when she was finally able to say her comment, but a little disappointed when the teacher responded with a nod and then selected another student to speak.
Research shows that the average person finds it uncomfortable to hold their hand up for more than 30 seconds.