Thursday, February 14, 2008

Gradually I feel sleepy

Today I was going through old teaching notebooks prior to throwing them out, and came across something I copied from a student's homework. In this homework, if I remember correctly (it is a several-years-old notebook), they were supposed to answer some questions and add a few details.

This particular student had been excruciatingly honest about the question he was answering, which was:

Have you ever fallen asleep in class?
His answer was wonderfully evocative despite the jumbled tenses, and almost made me fall asleep just reading it:
I have ever fallen asleep in class a bunch of times.

When class started, I am listening to teacher's voice. Gradually I feel sleepy. My eyes are closing.

I'm in my dream.

When I found myself, the class has finished. I always fall asleep like this.
I know why I copied this. It answered a question for me. The question is about why students' Pavlovian response to sitting down in a classroom is to fall asleep. It is because in most lectures their professors do not care whether their audience is asleep or awake, and drone on so soporifically it is almost impossible to stay awake.

It also explains why students frequently comment that my classes are tiring. I do not drone enough, so they can't catch up on the sleep they seem to be chronically deprived of. I keep expecting them to do stuff.

How inconsiderate of me.


Lia said...

I really try not to laugh out loud at work, but you left me no choice. What a wonderful answer!

Pkchukiss said...

I sleep at 10 every day, and wake up at 4.30 each morning, but I can hardly make it past the 2pm lectures with my eyes open. I think it has something to do with lunch though.