Thanks a bunch for the answers, folks. ScottPerdue and karenlee, your answers in particular are making me lean towards trying again with a different class after this one is over. It turns out I can "audition" to make sure I get put in the appropriate class, which may help. And I did convince one of my classmates to try private lessons after all, so who knows, I may not be the only one to try and skip ahead.

> those people can be a real pain
> a chronic sigher and eye-roller
> thank the teacher

Man, I'm glad that my class is nothing like that! Fortunately, we are all friendly adults with basic manners.