Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Staying Awake

  1. Aug 22, 2005 #1
    How do you all stay awake through your boring classes? Every year that's my problem. Maybe it's just me but I can't focus too well when I'm falling asleep.:rofl: Is that normal? lol.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 22, 2005 #2
    I play the games on my TI-83 from highschool.
     
  4. Aug 22, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    HS: sleep

    College: walk out
     
  5. Aug 22, 2005 #4

    dduardo

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus

    Or don't go to class at all.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2005 #5

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    or don't take boring classes.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2005 #6

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    easy A's though!

    What pisses me off though is those boring easy mick classes that require you to be there everyday in one form or another (say, homework every class or being told what hw to do in class instead of online or something).
     
  8. Aug 22, 2005 #7

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Or get more sleep the night before.

    If your instructor doesn't object, bring a light snack (I happen to love oranges when I'm tired and need a boost to keep me going; if you're going to eat them in class though, it would be best to have it already peeled and the wedges separated and put into a plastic container so you're not making a mess or distracted by trying to peel an orange instead of taking notes) or bring a bottle of water or a cup of coffee (beverages might not be a great idea if you have a long lecture though :wink:). I used to have 80 min lectures in college, and my attention span while sitting still seemed to only be about 40 min, no matter how interesting the lecture, so sometimes you just have to do something to snap yourself back, especially if it's that after lunch lecture where you're full and drowsy already).
     
  9. Aug 22, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It's true that sometimes you just don't have a choice about taking a class or two that you find boring because they're required to fulfill graduation requirements. And I'll say what others might be unwilling to say...sometimes the subject is interesting, but the lecturer has the world's most boring speaking voice and lulls the students off to sleep as well.
     
  10. Aug 22, 2005 #9
    I had four hours straight of class every weekday for ten weeks this summer. :smile:

    Sometimes, when I was really tired, I just ignored the lectures and thought about something else entirely. Of course, most of the time the material was actually interesting, so I didn't have problems with boredom.

    If your goal is just to be there without falling asleep, then you could read a book or something like that. But if you actually want to pay attention, then you could try asking yourself questions as you listen: that way, you won't just be listening to someone else talk. And you'll probably learn more, too.

    Edit: Something else just occurred to me. You could cut off some of those pesky fingers on your off hand: you don't actually need them for taking notes or anything, and the pain will probably keep you awake.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2005
  11. Aug 22, 2005 #10

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I almost never attend any lecture classes, unless I know I absolutely have to. In fact, I don't even see the point of having lecture classes. Why not simply write down what you are going to say in the lecture and have people read it? It's a waste of time, everybody's time, to teach things in a way that could easily be done another way. I'd much rather read than listen to someone speak for over an hour. I can do in on my own time, when I'm wide awake, while I'm eating, at my own pace, whatever. Someone tell me what exactly justifies the concept of a lecture class.
     
  12. Aug 22, 2005 #11
    History. Humans started out teaching this way, so they'll continue teaching this way. If they were good enough for people a thousand years ago, then who are we to question lectures? :smile:
     
  13. Aug 22, 2005 #12
    An apple can apparently wake you up just as well if not better than a cup of coffee. At least this is what I have been hearing alot lately.
     
  14. Aug 22, 2005 #13

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    The alphabet had not yet been invented in most parts of the world a thousand years ago, much less the printed word. You'd think we could get a little ahead of the time. Or look to the old Greek academies and symposium. They held discussions, rather than lectures.
     
  15. Aug 22, 2005 #14

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Well, for some, reading alone is not enough, especially if they are an auditory learner. For others, it helps to hear something explained in a different way. And the real answer is that your lecture should be discussing things that you can't just read in your book, filling in gaps, giving you a chance to ask questions, updating the latest information that's outdated in the textbook, putting it in perspective, and letting you know what information are the important concepts, and what are just picky details.

    If you only want to learn by reading books and aren't interested in attending lectures and being taught by the professors, why waste your money on tuition?
     
  16. Aug 22, 2005 #15

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    And is there any reason that a professor couldn't simply post these on a web page, or e-mail his class?

    I never said I'm only interested in reading books. I'm only interested in absorption of raw information through reading. Class time should be used for discussions, seminars, workshops, and labs. It should not be used to have someone stand in front of a large group reading aloud what could be read on the student's own time and at their own pace.

    Also, regarding why I bother to pay tuition: Despite the fact that I can often learn in three weeks what it somehow takes a semester to cover in a class, nobody seems to care unless I have paper documentation certifying my knowledge.
     
  17. Aug 22, 2005 #16

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    1) It would take a lot longer to write up than to just talk about it, 2) not everyone learns that way.

    Of course it shouldn't be used to just read aloud what's already covered in the book. Is that what your professors do? Of course, if the class would wake up and ask questions, there would be more discussion. There's nothing worse than having to lecture to a room full of lumps of clay.
     
  18. Aug 22, 2005 #17

    honestrosewater

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Took the words right out of my mouth. I'm not in school yet, but this is my main reason for wanting to return. There are pros and cons to both learning on your own and attending school. If there were a way to learn on my own and still come away with a diploma (that could actually help me get a job), I doubt that I would go back to school. I don't even miss having a live teacher and fellow students anymore. And with places like PF, you're not really even on your own. :smile:
    As for dealing with boring classes, er, I just dropped out.* :tongue2:

    *not that I recommend this for everyone...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
  19. Aug 22, 2005 #18
    I have never fallen asleep in a class, and I don't think I ever will, no matter how boring it is or how tired I am. (Once last semester, I had been up for 28 hours working on a robot when I had my most boring class, and I still didn't fall asleep.) For some reason, I'm just not capable.
     
  20. Aug 23, 2005 #19
    If I feel like my eyes are getting heavy I tickle the roof of my mouth with my tongue. It will get desensitized after a few minutes so you have to kind of move it around. You can get "skillz" this way too. :blushing: I also remember reading somewhere that some Japanese companies release citrus scents into the AC in the morning and after lunch to keep their employees awake.
     
  21. Aug 23, 2005 #20

    brewnog

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I simply have a Coke for breakfast. Not great after just having brushed your teeth, but it helps keep your eyes open.
     
  22. Aug 23, 2005 #21

    I can clearly see lack of Interest.!!
    The first thing which i think is that if you are not at all interested,you shouldn't go to a class and if you are going ,then ,you are supposed to be fully present,attentive,responsive and with all distractions completely sorted out.!

    Sometimes You have to go against yours interest and focus,it will develop of its own as grass grows itself.One cause can be you are having antipathy towards the instructor which distracts you.I will say love your teacher,admire him and you will automatically feel interested in his subject and rise.There shouldn't be any communication gap between you and teacher.

    Learn to focus on the Teacher's words,tone,facial expression,body language,there are many things which are to be taken care of.Sometimes non verbal communication leads a person ahead.Above all become an effective listener ,with all ears towards teacher.I believe if a person is able to make out the right thing at right time,he is mounting high.

    The mind is like a parachute-it functions only when it is open.
     
  23. Aug 23, 2005 #22
    Amazing Observations Moonbear!
    :smile:
    the higher we concenterate and focus,more tired we feel after the lecture.Somewhere i read this has come up as an equivalent way of burning calories.
     
  24. Aug 24, 2005 #23
    Why this thread has stopped.! :uhh:
    I know i came up with boring reply,
    But that's because i love my classes and love my teachers..! :!!)
    Guys come up with weird ideas.! o:)
     
  25. Aug 24, 2005 #24

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    That's not what I mean. I'm saying that anything a person says aloud could simply be written down. It doesn't mean that they are reading out of the book.

    [Edit: It's worth mentioning that I've actually been lucky enough to have some very good professors who were excellent, interesting speakers. While I may not have had to worry about falling asleep, this doesn't change the fact that I learned nothing from these lectures that I could not have learned better from simply reading. Curiously enough, even when I only manage to attend three or four lecture classes during an entire semester (out of thirty-five or so), I still manage to ace the exams, so I've assumed I'm not missing anything.]

    Again, I've never seen the point myself. There is no question my professor can answer that I can't find an answer to elsewhere, aside from "What is going to be on the exam?" When I refer to a discussion class, I mean real discussion, like in a philosophy or English class, something that requires original input. Science is learned by doing science, not by talking about it. Asking questions of the lab instructor is, of course, an integral part of learning, but that goes into a whole 'nother area, separate from lecture.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2005
  26. Aug 24, 2005 #25

    loseyourname

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    Yeah, I suppose that one of my major problems was that, like you, I was out of school for several years, and during that time I did a lot of active learning. By the time I got back into school, I already knew most of what was being taught in at least the Gen Ed classes. It was very frustrating having no choice but to attend and perform what ended up amounting to busy work. I tested out of what I could, but there are only so many classes that even allow you to do that (and they're mostly math classes, which does me no good since I'm not a math major).
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook