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What to do in the face of a boring professor


We’ve all come across a class we’ve dreaded going to—and if you haven’t yet, you’re one lucky student! If you ‘ve slipped by each semester with wonderful professors, sometime in the future it’s likely you’ll come across one who’s too tough, can’t speak in simple English or, the worst yet, makes your favorite subject the most boring topic in the world. Though sometimes you can switch into another class with a different professor or just drop the class entirely, you won’t always be able to wiggle your way out.

      The first thing that comes to many students’ minds when they find themselves in a large lecture that’s anything but exciting, is to bring their computer and mess around on random sites or do other homework until class is finally over. While it may help keep you awake, completely ignoring what’s going on in the front of the classroom won’t help you do well in the class!

      If the dreadful professor is in a class of a smaller setting or teaching one of your required classes, you can’t not pay attention. Either the professor will eventually notice you’re spending the entire class time staring off into space or you’ll miss out on important information you’ll need for future classes. As Mom would always tell us when we were little, sometimes you just have to suck it up and do things you don’t want to do.

      So, if there’s no chance of transferring out of the class with the teacher you hate, you have to deal. Believe me, I feel your pain. I’ve had numerous teachers, in college and in other school years, I couldn’t stand. If you don’t have control of the situation, it’s essential to just make the best of it. Spending every opportunity possible complaining about the class, skipping class entirely or sitting around miserably and not participating won’t make the professor any more exciting.

Though the professor may be dull, the class doesn’t necessarily have to be. In a smaller class based a lot on class discussions, encourage the students to take over. Raise your hand and bring up a topic that actually interests you. Hopefully others will chime in or branch off into other areas that will keep you listening and participating.

      In a large lecture situation, discussion isn’t always possible. Often you’re left to stare at the screen and write down the prepared notes. But you can still spice things up for yourself! If you have a discussion section, write down some questions or topics you’d like to possibly talk about in the smaller group. Or make an appointment to discuss these issues with the professor. Chances are they’ll become more lively and interesting when you’re talking about a specific area that intrigues you.

      If you still find yourself unhappy with the class and bored out of your mind, at least the very least don’t keep yourself from succeeding. In the end, that will only hurt you! Try your best to pay attention—even if you have to take breaks in between every few PowerPoint slides to doodle or surf the web. You’ll be happier knowing you made it through the class successfully and once the semester is over, never having to deal with the awful professor again.

      Besides, victory will be yours when you walk away for summer vacation with an A in the class and having given the professor all F’s on the evaluation sheet.

I'm a senior art history and magazine journalism major. I'm a junky for pop culture, watch way too much TV, and love to blog about it all.
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