(If you still can)
When I arrived in my classroom, one of my students was listening to music. It was clearly audible from the front of the room, where I was unpacking my briefcase. For a moment I thought that she must have brought in a little radio. That would be like the old days, wouldn't it? I looked over at the student in question and was dismayed to see that she was listening to an iPod, buds plugged into her ears, the volume cranked up so high that my middle-aged senses were easily picking up the sound from a dozen feet away.
In a conversational tone, I said, “You like your music rather loud, don't you?”
She was completely oblivious. Her classmates began to chuckle. I spoke a little louder.
“Isn't that turned up just a little too high?”
She was still wrapped up in her rapt attention to her rap. The other students were all grins and giggles now. I addressed them instead.
“I confidently predict that there will be huge investment opportunities in companies that make hearing aids. That has got to be a growth industry in the future.”
Maybe there'll even be legal firms dedicated to starting class-action lawsuits against Apple, just like some outfits devote their time to suing tobacco companies. I wouldn't be surprised.
Eventually my student noticed out of the corner of her eye that the class was getting started. She disengaged from her tympanic destruction system and transferred her attention to me. She's a very good student and is doing well in her class. For now, at least, she can still hear me when I talk. In the future, perhaps before very long, she'll be hearing whatever she hears with a constant background hum or ringing.
If she can hear anything at all.