The Official Site for David Freeman Coleman

The Official Site for David Freeman Coleman
a.k.a. Funkyman

Did He Ever Talk About . . . ?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sleeping 101

What you see to your right is the proper posture for sleeping in class. I am an expert at this because I have had lots of practice. This is not to condone, advocate, or encourage this behavior in you or your children. But it is darn funny.
To quote Corey Glover of Living Color, "I don't advocate drugs, I just use them."

How did this happen to me, you ask? When was the first time? How did you overcome this addiction? Well, here's the short long story. It started in high school in Chemistry class. The teacher would turn off the lights and a slide show would flash bright lights into 40 young male faces. Clearly this was hypnotism. I mean, what was I supposed to do - stay awake? For all I know, they planted subliminal thoughts into my brain that to this day I'm trying to sort out. Hey, wait a minute . . .

But I digress. This was the first time I fell asleep in class, and I realized that I didn't like Science. The teacher was great, but the subject matter did not enthrall me. This is the first ingredient for creating a slumbering student. The second ingredient is of course - the teacher.

Music was a subject that I did love, and when I got to college I just knew that my sleeping-in-class days were over. That was when I met my freshman year Music Theory teacher - whose name I'll withhold to protect him and his family from ridicule. But honestly, in a subject that I excelled in, this man's voice could have put GOD to sleep. I mean, have you ever heard the Emergency Broadcast System testing beep? Imagine that for 2 hours every day from 8 - 10 a.m. You understand.

Anyway, I religiously fell asleep in his class and by the end of year, he let me know it by screaming at me in front of the whole class. Not my finest hour. He hated me, especially since I got an A in his class. I once thought that the time of the class was what made me tired - making three ingredients to the sleping student theory. But no, there are just two. I took another class with the same teacher the next year, and this one was at 2 p.m. - Same results. My professor's hate turned to loathing. I wished him a Merry Christmas at the end of the trimester, and he didn't even look up from his work. He just waved the back of his hand as to usher me away from his presence. Cold, man. Cold.

He was a good teacher and a very smart man. Just that voice! Just thinking about it . . . makes . . . me . . . slee

(Two hours later)

Oh! My bad. I'm back. Well anyway, the third year of Music Theory was where I learned to perfect the technique of sleeping in class without the teacher realizing it. There are really only two elements - posture and evasive maneuvers.

Posture is as the picture above shows. Is this man deep in thought or asleep? Of course you must practice this so that you don't slip, have your head drop 4 inches suddenly and alert the entire class that you're asleep. The funniest thing in the world is seeing someone do this and act like it didn't happen. Finding the fulcrum (I guess I learned something in science) of your elbow to desk relation is the key. Everyone's head is different. If someone asks if you're asleep - pounce on them. "How dare you accuse me of sleeping professor! I was thinking about how amazing your lecture is! Jeez!" Works every time. But of course, they'll ask you to recount what has recently been said or asked, and that's where the real work comes in.

How do you answer a question when you don't know the question? Well, first know clearly what the subject matter for the day is, and before you fall asleep, try and remember what the teacher is talking about. This way, you'll have some clue. To prove you were not sleeping, recount specific things about the subject that were mentioned in class before you fell asleep. This will confound the teacher. But, if they want a specific answer to a question, there are two things to do.

1. Simply say "I don't know." This can have bad effects, especially if the question is easy, like "What is H2O" (true story, happened to me - not proud.) But it just may divert the teacher's attention to another student, who's probably asleep too. It's better to do the next suggestion.

2. Ask the teacher to repeat the question. "I'm sorry, could you repeat the question." Teachers love this interactive stuff. I should know. I 'm a teacher. And you can't blame a student for asking. Hey, you might even know the answer. If you don't, apologize. "I'm sorry sir/ma'am. I didn't read that chapter." for example. You're home free.

So how did I quit this? The answer is: I didn't. Now that I'm a teacher, I am notorious for falling asleep during faculty and department meetings. My techniques have weakened, and I have done it multiple times. It's become a running joke between me and my colleagues. I have much better excuses now - being a father, working several jobs, preparing lessons for class, late nights, etc. And no, I'm not proud.

But it's pretty darn funny.

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