BOSTON (CBS) — They say travel is how you learn, and a during a few days on the road over the holiday, I feel like I got a seminar in unfortunate human behavior.

Class began in a crowded terminal waiting area, where your path down the aisle is blocked by people spreading out their stuff and themselves like they’re camping for a week. You can stand there as long as you like waiting for them to clear the way – their electronic devices are rendering the world invisible.

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When boarding time comes, it is made crystal clear to everyone over age two that we will board in order as our groups are called.

But oh, those short attention spans! There is a frantic clustering at the gate, again blocking access. And the handful I saw repelled by the attendants for trying to jump the line didn’t seem bothered.

No walk of shame for them!

But it’s on the plane that the most life-affecting lessons are taught.

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If you’re in an aisle seat when others are still boarding, you must be hyper-vigilant to avoid head injury from new arrivals wielding their bags like they’re clearing underbrush with a scythe. I took careful notes when I saw folks ignore the sight of bags placed in the overhead bin nose first and stuff theirs in sideways, because what is shared public space for if not to be aggressively hogged?

And then, the final educational horror – the plane reaches the gate, and the faculty leap to their feet and grab their bag so they can stand there for ten minutes with nowhere to go.

Is it a sort of standing ovation for the pilot and crew, minus the ovation?

Yes, you learn a lot when you travel – like how some people never learn.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

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