You’re sitting in class and you suddenly realize you’re in a scene of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The drool’s hitting the desks, the eyes are staring blankly forward and your professor, like a soulless drone, repeats monotonously, “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller.” So what are your options? Well, you can always dribble on the desks. But why not do something a little more interesting with those minutes otherwise spent zoning out? (It’s not like you’re paying attention anyway.) The Northerner has the answer to combat class time tedium with four activity suggestions for better use of in school drool-time.
Organize your life!
Instead of watching your professor present a PowerPoint word for word (that’s been posted on Blackboard), make use of those wasted minutes of your life by organizing it! You bought that beautiful deluxe planner in the beginning of August, but like half of your textbooks, it has lain unread and unused. Bust it out! Use it for its intended purpose – write down the assignments you’d otherwise try to commit to memory (and forget in the process). Writing in the planner is also a good choice to alleviate boredom because writing something down will not be noticed by the professor as goofing off. Another organization suggestion: arrange the papers and notebooks that would, on a normal school day, just get shoved into your bag at the end of class. Put the papers and notes for one class into its corresponding folder, and come the next day of class you won’t have to desperately search for your homework. Beware, however, of making too much noise with your papers, etc. rustling, thus calling yourself to the attention of the professor. If remembering your assignments and appointments isn’t a problem for you, another organization-related class activity is making a “to do” list. This kind of list is handy for organizing your thoughts. Instead of all those things swimming around in your mind getting confused, they’ll be clearly detailed in black and white. “To do” lists, like filling out your planner, are not easily detected by the professor, indeed a positive aspect.
Get in touch
Who hasn’t sat through an annoying lecture thinking of someone special or a close relative who you would MUCH rather be having a conversation with than pretending to listen to the professor? No one, that’s who. Technology has got us covered with this one – so take a seat in the back of the room and go to town communicating with your homies. Send them a text, an IM or Facebook stalk them (if you own a laptop). We must preach caution, however. Talk to friends and loved ones electronically at your own risk. Unfortunately, many professors are now hip to the texting jive, so if they see you pressing random keys on your phone, they will know what you’re up to. The risk of discovery lessens with the use of a laptop, but be aware of your professor’s physical presence. Don’t let him or her sneak up on you. Of course, if cyber/electronic relations are not your thing, why not go the old-fashioned route? Talk to that hot personage who’s been sitting next to you all semester. We’re all adults, right? Surely we can handle a little one on one contact. Just pass a “do you like me, check yes or no?” note. It’s a classic.
Start playing games
If staring at the ceiling is your only recourse for entertainment during class, one option is doing something more conducive to your enjoyment, like playing a game. Play Bejeweled on your laptop or Tetris on your cell phone (electronic caution rules also apply here). Bored students can also do the Sudoku on the Games ‘ Extras page of The Northerner and ask the person next to them to help out. If crosswords or word finds are your cup of tea, go out and buy a book full of the game of your choice that includes a range of difficulties. Then there’s always the time-honored practice of doodling on your notebook to pass the time. Go solo with the classic version, or take doodling to the next level by drawing something funny or interesting, then passing the doodle to a friend, who doodles something, then passes it back to you, and keep it up. Results are often hilarious, but dangerous if confiscated by a professor.
Crack a book
OK, OK, don’t get too upset, but how about using your leisure class time to catch up on your reading? You could do some reading for that class, or another class, or gasp! Read for pleasure. You don’t necessarily have to read a novel, but why not consult a list of classics and see if there’s one that appeals to you, and keep that book specifically for boring classes. Or read a magazine, read a newspaper (The Northerner is free) or read a text book. Whatever you choose, you’re pleasing yourself, bettering yourself or lightening your coursework load. Reading the written word is also beneficial because, like getting organized, it is equally undetectable. Just don’t hold your Harry Potter book too high. Those things are colorful. Or, to avoid discovery, try the time-honored “book hidden behind a book” method, both trusty and effective. Whatever your choice of boredom evasion, remember
ANYTHING is preferable to sitting in class with no hope of rescue. Be prepared.