Spurs aren’t made for Walking

By: Juliyana Straley, Staff Writer
Twitter: @jstraley7
Email: straleyj@findlay.edu

Clank, clank, clank; a typical noise heard when walking around campus or sitting in a classroom at the University of Findlay. What creates this extreme noise disturbance? Western spurs.
As a horseback rider myself, I understand rushing to class from the barn and essentially smelling up the entire classroom, and I do apologize for that. I do not relish the fact that I smell of horse manure and hay. I do however, take my riding boots off before I leave the barn, including my spurs.
It takes less than a minute to take off riding boots and western riders wear their cowboy boots all day, so it would take less than 20 seconds to take their spurs off. That extra 20 seconds could make classroom life for non-equestrian majors that much more enjoyable.
The National Academies Press released a report explaining that, “Excessive background noise or reverberation (i.e., many delayed reflections of the original sound) can interfere with speech perception and, consequently, can impair educational outcomes.”
Are wearing western spurs worth the possible negative educational affects? I have been in classrooms and meetings when western riders would simply tap their foot and the consistent jingle would leave my mind wandering and blood pressure rising.
Remember in grade school, when that one student in the back of the classroom discovered that the clicking noise of pens was the greatest thing since sliced bread? It was hard to concentrate and being consistently distracted, you couldn’t focus on what the teacher was saying. You looked forward at the board, but couldn’t stop thinking about the clicking that was happening every second.
Fast forward ten years and here we are today with the same person, just a different noise disturbance.
According to NPR, researchers at Newcastle University discovered that this sensitivity to noise is an actual medical condition called misophonia.
Due to noise disturbances, NPR states that people can, “experience changes in brain activity when they hear an annoying sound”.
The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health also concluded that misophonia limits a person’s ability to socialize and can cause severe problems in a person’s professional life.
It is clear from the research that noise disturbances greatly affect people’s learning abilities. At the end of the day, are the spurs worth it?
The extra 20 seconds it takes to remove western spurs could considerably improve a person’s quality of life and ability to learn.

Sources:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691507/
http://www.npr.org/2017/02/05/513532460/going-crazy-from-annoying-sounds-is-an-actual-medical-condition

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