I don’t always pay attention to what’s being said in class, but I am observant of what’s around me.
Being back on campus reminds me of how much I love being so in touch with my inner dialogue. Like all my friends, I’m usually running around and trying to manage all of the deadlines, assignments, and even responsibilities outside of class all the time. That means I’m usually alone, which is okay, because that’s when my inner self shines through and I can think to myself (AKA talk to myself).
I’m sure it’s always comforting to have a friend with you in a class, so you both can laugh, talk, and make the time go by faster. Unfortunately, for me, that isn’t the case in most my classes, but I guess there is the advantage of being able to pay more focused attention on what the professor is saying. However, that’s not where I see the real benefit; I tend to make more observations about the people and places around me. I tend to have some strangely relatable inner dialogue like you would normally hear by characters in comedy TV shows (yes, I believe I am funny in my own head), and that’s usually my method of helping time go by faster in class. Because what’s more interesting than a bunch of theories and long words? At the top of that list are MY thoughts, of course.
Here are some of the thoughts I’ve had in my classes after the first full week back on campus (these may be a testament to how it’s always the quiet ones who have a lot to say):
1)Okay, starting off my morning with a 50-minute class. This should be easy.
2)50 minutes. That’s it before I have to dive into three consecutive 75-minute classes. Great.
3)I can survive 50 minutes without looking at my phone, right? It’s not like anybody texts me all the time, right?
4)Or snapchats me.
5)I mean, it is during the beginning of the semester, so all those Facebook notifications that come up are probably people posting the same thing in each of the Tufts Class of 20-something groups that I’m a part of.
6)Why did I join all of those again?
7)But yeah, no need to look at my phone because no notifications or messages.
8)Let’s just pay attention for a little bit.
9)Let’s try our hardest to pay attention in this stuffy room without windows.
10) That’s at the edge of campus.
11) Literally the edge of the universe.
12) I got out of bed for this, really?
13) At least the weather’s nice.
14) And I’m not burning up or overheating.
15) I hate when I walk across campus to class and end up sweating when I arrive, and apparently no one else is sweating or hot so I just look foolish.
16) Yeah, even if I’m bored, at least I’m comfortable and not suffocating from heat.
17) Okay, focus… NOW.
18) But wait, this professor is teaching with a chalkboard?
19) Why are we still using chalkboards?
20) Tuition really doesn’t go towards improving classrooms and teaching equipment?
22) Are there even full pieces of chalk up there? All I see are these sorry little fragments.
23) Okay, whatever, at least my notes are laid out for me then so I won’t be COMPLETLEY lost if I doze off a little bit.
24) Got the notes down, good. I’ll be good to study tonight!
25) Oh gosh, now the professor has to erase the chalkboard and make that ugly, chalky mess on the board. Makes sense because it’s a chalkboard.
26) Does he only have that small chalkboard eraser? Really? 21st century and we haven’t advanced our chalkboard erasers to be more than six inches long?
27) Why is the eraser so –
28) Oh my gosh.
29) Oh no.
30) He missed a spot.
31) I can’t look away.
32) I can’t stop looking at that spot.
33) It’s just like, staring at me now.
34) Why did I focus so hard on the professor erasing the chalkboard instead of actually hearing what he was teaching?
35) Now my skin is crawling because that spot is there.
36) Oh gosh, now I just have to look away until the next cycle of erasing.
37) Just have to focus on something else for now…
38) Hmm, I’ve been in this class quite a few times and I still don’t know anybody’s names outside out of those who raise their hand and participate.
39) Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve had human interaction.
40) My friends are always busy.
41) I’m always busy.
42) Why do I do this to myself?
43) Okay, let’s try talking to my neighbor to check answers.
44) Yay, friends!
45) I wonder if the missed spots on the chalkboard bother him as much as they bother me.46) Should I ask him if they do?
47) Is that weird?
48) I don’t know how to approach this social situation.
49) Like I said, it’s been a while since I’ve had human interaction.
50) But then again, I don’t deliberate on whether or not to say something with my friends. I just say it.
51) This classmate is not a friend I can share my inner dialogue with, note to self.
52) Maybe he wouldn’t get my fixation on those missed spots on the chalkboard.
53) Nobody would, I think.
54) Or should.
55) Okay, we’ve gone over our answers but people are still talking. I don’t like the awkward silence between me and this classmate.
56) Maybe I’ll bring up the weather or something.
57) Yeah, I always just talk about the weather when I want to make small talk.
58) The weather will get me out of this awkward situation.
59) But how long can I possibly talk about the weather?
60) Why do I find comfort in resorting to talking about something so basic?
61) Am I BASIC?
62) Gosh, I can’t –
63) Oh, class is over already?
65) What did we even learn?
Sometimes, our own company is enough to entertain ourselves.
What do you do to pass the time in class?