This is just a very fun prompt I discovered on Tumblr. I hope the lighter tone and theme would balance out the melancholy and drama of yesterday’s post.

The most important thing to remember is to keep your eyes open.

The lecturer in front of the class can be anything from a saint to a jerk, but that does not mean you are exempted from paying attention. Now, the definition of paying attention itself has a branched meaning: you could either be a teacher’s pet and really pay attention in class–occasionally taking notes while absorbing everything you can, or you can simply pretend that you are paying attention.

Image by: lhueagleeye.wordpress.com

There are literally 5 ways the lecturer would judge whether you are listening to them or not:

  1. Whether you look at the whiteboard (or in some cases, the projector screen) or not.
  2. Whether you are talking to your friends or not.
  3. Whether you are obviously staring at your phone for more than one minute (or for even one second, if your educational institute prohibits carrying a smartphone into class).
  4. Whether you are in your seat or not.
  5. Whether it is really you on your seat or not.

Of course, more modern approach has been sporadically adopted by more and more lecturers around the globe, but those five on the list are the golden rule that teachers, lecturers, and seminar speakers alike hold on to more than anything else. It would be wise for you to at least fulfil three out of five, lest you will be judged as not paying attention.

Now you might be saying, it would be easy to complete three out of five: you just have to attend the class on your seat (which will complete two out of five by itself), and not talk to your friends. Even if you are staring at your phone the whole time, you could just make an excuse that you don’t bring your laptop or notebooks with you, and you are forced to take notes with your phone. Easy peasy.

The real challenge comes from actually staying awake.

And by staying awake, I mean by keeping your eyes open.

It is harder than it sounds. Imagine if you had gone to a drinking party the night before the lecture. You would barely have any energy to drag yourself to the class, and although you know you would be receiving a divine punishment for falling asleep in the class, you just can’t resist the numbness and the drowsiness. You would be coming to class not to pay any attention to the lecturer, but rather, to sleep. (Although it is quite debatable why would you come to the class in the first place instead of pretending to be sick).

It isn’t a myth: keeping your eyes open will save you more than any other tips covered in this book. If surviving a boring class would have a golden rule, it is to not piss off your lecturer. And if there is one traffic-free highway to not pissing off your lecturer, it is by paying attention. By keeping your eyes open. By staying awake.

We will be covering most of the art to stay awake on classes on the next chapter. There we will learn the tips and tricks to stay awake even when you barely had any sleep the previous night. We will learn how to play DOTA the whole night before a 4 hours long lecture and still be deemed as paying attention for at 95% of the duration. We will also learn how to trick your lecturer into forgiving you in case they find out about your tricks–all of that in Chapter 3.

Prompt: Write a page from the book “How to Survive a Boring Class”.

Alicia Lidwina – 2017


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