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Skipping class because it is just so dull

  1. Sep 23, 2013 #1
    I am only passionate about Physics. How do I make it through the common core, without dulling creative thinking?
    To give you an example I am currently skipping class because it is just so dull.
    Help me please

    *High school*
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2013 #2
    I hate it.
  4. Sep 23, 2013 #3


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    Step 1: Don't skip class
  5. Sep 23, 2013 #4
    Interests often change over time. To be a well rounded person you need to learn about more than just Physics. Someone who knows of just one subject is not very interesting.
  6. Sep 23, 2013 #5


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    Many classes are stupid and dull. The most effective approach to avoiding them is to not go to school. Then the problem becomes avoiding stupid and dull jobs. If you're stuck on school, then the next best approach is to avoid schools that have many required classes. You can also get lots of credit from community college and such before you matriculate, thus getting advanced standing and the right to skip such classes.

    But it sounds like it's too late for you to use these approaches, although you could still transfer to a different school. But assuming you are stuck I suggest you go talk to the department chair for each class that bothers you. Sometimes it is possible to substitute in a more advance class if you can demonstrate ability. But do go sit in on sessions of your target "more advanced" classes. Depending on the reason you find your core classes dull, you may also find these classes dull. Then you've got a bigger problem.

    It's always possible that the real problem is that you're dull. Maybe you just need to get out more. But like all serious problems, solve it by examining it in every way and considering all sorts of solutions. Skipping class is a good solution only if you have a clear path to getting the needed credit for the class.
  7. Sep 23, 2013 #6
    My community college and even my state flagship, the University of Maryland, allows students to satisfy much of the general education requirements using CLEP exams, where a student takes a test and if that student passes, receives full credit for the equivalent course. I was able to reduce the number of general education courses I have to take by about half. You should see if your institution will accept CLEP exams for course equivalency or similar tests.
  8. Sep 23, 2013 #7
    CLEP exams may spare me, if my desired school allows it. I will look into it.

    In my original title I mentioned I was in High school. Thank you anyway for the collegiate advise.
  9. Sep 23, 2013 #8


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    You're going to have a hard time getting through physics if you can't make it through a high-school class, I'm afraid.

    My advice... gut it out.
  10. Sep 23, 2013 #9
    My physics teacher is super enthused, his class is a blast. We go back and forth all the time. I returned today just for calculus and physics. The problem lays within every other class.
    What can I do during the day to keep me settled?
  11. Sep 23, 2013 #10


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    Sorry, couldn't tell you were in high school. Then all the things I mentioned are available as ways to prepare to avoid tedium in college. Avoiding tedium in high school is harder since most high schools are designed like prisons: shut up and do what we tell you. But there's still hope.

    Home schooling is a viable alternative in many states, but the details vary greatly. For my two kids who could stand high school they just put up with being bored a lot of the time and doing pointless make-work. Being able to grit your teeth and deal with crap is a very valuable life skill, which most people have to use in their professional lives all the time. The two others (the boys) solved the problem in a different way.

    One did junior and senior year at a local community college instead. This was way cool because it was free and you get college credits along with your high school credits. If you work at it you can get an AA at the same time you get your college diploma. With a little cleverness that enables you to get into a four-year college as a junior and skip almost all the really dull stuff most colleges require. This is golden but requires some planning and preparation. Our school district had a standard plan to allow this for some students, but you can arrange it on your own if you are persistent and can find cooperative administrators at your school. I think it helps if you are clearly mature and don't fit into high school. On the other hand, my kid decided this approach was only "less awful" than high school and gave up on formal education after he graduated high school. He was a few credits shy of an AA. He now works for a local software company and they call him a staff engineer and pay him well; he just turned 21.

    The other has been home schooled starting with 8th grade so he avoided high school entirely, which is pretty easy here in California. He's now the age where he would have been a senior. I'm trying to convince him that he ought to go to college, but he really likes just learning nothing but math at home (and sitting in on local university classes when appropriate). Works for him. Nothing stupid and boring, and he gets to do graduate level math work. Very cool. On the other hand, if I can convince him to go to Cambridge, the British system will let him do nothing but math as an undergrad unlike here in the US. That would suit him, and they don't really care that his education has been random and narrow (you know, without the dull stuff).

    Another approach is to just decide you're done and leave high school early without graduating. If you're good, there are any number of colleges that will be happy to take you as a student. Apply to a few (it's easy with the common app) and see how it goes.

    See, lots of solutions! I'm sure you can think of more yourself. You might get advice more specific to your situation if you find a good guidance counselor at your high school. They're mostly useless as a species, but often there is one good one. Find that one and ask for help with your problems. I did that when I was in high school many years ago. I decided I'd exhausted the possibilities of high school so I wanted to graduate early. I asked a sympathetic teacher who pointed me to the guidance people. I asked the first one I found to tell me how I should go about graduating early. One after another they explained to me why I couldn't until I finally found one who answered my question -- it turned out to be no problem at all.
  12. Sep 23, 2013 #11

    Vanadium 50

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    If you want to be a physicist, you have to go to your classes, even if you aren't being entertained.

    If you still decide not to go, you should be honest with yourself - you aren't serious about being a physicist.
  13. Sep 23, 2013 #12


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    At this level, physics is fun because it's easy for you. Or maybe it's easy because it's fun. But trust me, it won't always be easy and/or fun. And when that time comes, you will need discipline to stick with it.

    NOW is the time to develop that discipline. Do it.

    You'd be amazed at how many very smart students drop out in college because they run into this very wall.
  14. Sep 23, 2013 #13
    Is it the material that's dull, or the class itself? I understand if it's the latter, but if it's the former then I think you're not studying the right things. Since most high school classes are easy, maybe you can get away with attending class and covertly learning on your own. In history class, don't settle for a third rate book's history of the American Revolution, slavery, etc. Read The American Crisis, read some of the actual writings of Washington or Jefferson, read The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass , or Grant's memoirs, or Army Life in a Black Regiment.

    If you're reading A Tale of Two Cities in English and you think it's dull, then read up on the French Revolution. Yeah, it's a lot of work and you won't be able to do physics all day, but it will do anything but dull your thinking. I found that learning history and just expanding my knowledge in general has made me much smarter (even if it's just in the sense of Socrates being "smart" because he knew how little he knew :smile:), which helps in math.
  15. Sep 23, 2013 #14
    Of course, you will still have to study for those CLEP exams using your own time and discipline, but they will require significantly less time and money than taking courses.

    There are other course equivalency exams offered at my college and other colleges, but the names of them escape my memory during the present.

    Take your time while in high school to develop your discipline then. You are going to need it.
  16. Sep 23, 2013 #15
    Physics and Math professors tend to much more tolerant than other professors of skipping class. I have known many people who went to approximately 1/3 of their non-lab classes without problems. Some professors want you to show up but most will tolerate you skipping class if you score well on the exams and hand in the HW.
  17. Sep 24, 2013 #16


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    The "dull classes" are there so that you can earn an "easy A" in each of them ... this gives you a goal! Once you have a goal they may even be more interesting. But work for the good grade anyway - you will learn something, and you will become a better student.

    And it will help you when you apply for college.
  18. Sep 24, 2013 #17


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    It is rare that dull classes are created on purpose. Mostly they are there because there are many bad teachers and the system is not designed to accommodate everybody. My belief is that you can, with some effort, probably avoid or transcend the bad situation -- modify it so it becomes good rather than succumb to it. And it's important to understand whether you are part of the problem. As you describe, an attitude change can help if there's something interesting to discover. Sometimes there isn't -- it's just bad. Then it's time for evasive action rather than just enduring it.
  19. Sep 26, 2013 #18


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    Learning to excel at tasks which you don't personally find interesting or important is a VERY important life skill. One of the thing that makes people successful in life is their ability to do the work and meet their commitments, regardless of how motivated or excited about the task they are.

    Getting As in English and History will make you a MUCH better Physicist. You won't like all the tasks expected of a Physicist, believe me.
  20. Sep 30, 2013 #19
    Find out how the subjects apply to you, and focus on that.

    English is practice for writing physics papers.
    Geography/History is getting you prepared to travel internationally and lecture by learning about all these cultures and their interrelations.
    Phys ed. is getting you in shape so you can have a long and physics filled life.
    Music/Art is great for finding systems and formulas in everything.

    Also art in general will keep you sane.
  21. Sep 30, 2013 #20
    Think about this as well. The more you know, and are capable of doing, the more valuable you are as an employee. If you are a physicist whose well rounded, then you are capable of doing more than a physicist who is not well rounded.

    The more you can do, the more people will want you.
  22. Oct 1, 2013 #21


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    the trouble with skipping class and not studying is it creates bad habits that you will have a hard time changing when you get into a good school with interesting classes. you may continue to just blow off classes whenever you find an excuse to do so, and at best you will not have developed the work ethic that will be needed to survive hard and challenging classes, including some that are not fascinating at first blush.

    it is also true that the most intelligent and creative people i have known have often found a way to make all classes seem interesting by their own creative investigation of the material, their curiosity, and their questions for the professor. so your choice, although understandable, is very likely harmful to you and your future.

    if you are truly beyond the level of your classes, you should get into a higher level class or school altoghether.
  23. Apr 8, 2014 #22

    Hey guys just giving you an update
    I barely managed to pass all my 11th grade first semester classes by getting 90% on finals. Ecstatic!
    I began immediately failing second semester because I was not turning in any "busy work" garbage. After researching many alternatives, I have decided on home schooling my self. The curriculum is still provided by my local community high school, but I only have to take marking period and semester exams.
    I buckled down January and in march completed my 11th grade year about 3 mounts ahead of my class. While getting solid test scores.
    I'm taking a month of to be a trout bum for a bit, while the seasons good. Then back to the books to finish up hopefully before fall.
    I know I really beat around the bush which I won't be able to in college. At least with these test scores I can get my foot in the door, when I am ready, at a community college.
    This place is awesome motivation. I always think that if this level of comradery and integrity takes place on a forums, what are the ivy leagues like! Hopefully I'll find out because it must be some heavy stuff.

    Thank you all for always giving
    brutally truthful answer! That's the charm of this place. I mean it, thank you. It truly is a beautiful sight to see people try to secure a good future for science. Thank you!

    -Chance 17 yo

    I typed this on my phone so please spare
  24. Apr 8, 2014 #23


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    Nice to see a case of self home schooling working out.
  25. Apr 8, 2014 #24


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    There are quite a few out there.
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