Volume 93, Issue 42

Friday, November 12, 1999


Super Build proposal released

Opt-out fee debate heats up USC meeting

Scholarship sets $1 million aside

An O.J. a day keeps the doctor away

Plea bargaining focus of show

I'll take door #3

Caught on campus

Bass Ackwards

I'll take door #3

I know you've had those classes. The ones which refuse to end.

In high school I had a history class so painful I actually started staring at the clock and watching the second hand.

After minding the clock for a good five minutes, or 300 seconds, the second hand actually moved backwards! I swear, I'm not making this up, it actually reversed, paused and then, as though to mock me, shook a little to threaten the possibility it would retreat once more.

I diverted my eyes in hopes that, by not watching it, it would continue on towards the completion of the class – looking back a few minutes later to find a regular moving second hand.

At that point, I vowed not to watch the clock for longer than three straight minutes (180 seconds). Instead, I had to find other ways to amuse myself in the classes which seemed to drag worse than RuPaul.

Before I describe my solution for these situations, allow me first to say none of the classes I have this year require the need for me to watch a clock. Each of them, in their own way, is a miraculous wonder of higher education and a gift to my brain. Especially those classes from which my professors are reading this.

Now that I have clarified the situation, I can describe my rather simple plan. I have christened the idea of "The Bored Student Game." It's an easy game to play. Whenever a professor or another student asks a question, you try to come up with an inventive answer.

If you have a big enough class, you can share it with a friend and award points for the best answer. If you are in a small class, or your friends want to actually "listen" to the professor because they're "interested in a higher education" then you may need to play by yourself.

Self-scoring is simple, your first response gets you one point, the next two and each subsequent answer gets you double the points of the last. You'll be able to keep score when you should have been keeping notes because you won't be listening anymore anyway. Either way, the first person to achieve 128 points (eight correct answers) must stand on their desk and loudly proclaim themselves "God of the bored students."

Warning – this game promotes talking to yourself, delusional sessions and other fun things which make psych students happy. By means of further explanation, please consider a few examples.

If someone asks, "Do you think Freud could write on his theories in today's society?" Your response should be, "No, he's dead. He can't write anything any more." (Score: 1 point). Other possibilities:

Q: "How does this story end?"

A: "Mercifully." (Score: 2 points).

Q: "What is the natural logarithm of X?"

A: "I'll show you my natural log if you'll show me yours." (Score: 4 points).

Q: "What's missing from Act 3, Scene 2 of Hamlet?"

A: "Blenders."

(Score: 8 points).

Q: "What separates humans from animals?"

A: "We're not afraid of the vacuum." (Score: 16 points).

Q: "What letter did I leave out here?"

A: "All 26 of them, not to mention all the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet." (Score: 32 points).

Q: "Have you done the readings?"

A: "Yes, but not for this course." (Score: 128 points – declare yourself the instant winner).

I have found this game has helped me in the past and I'm sure it will help you in the future. So stop staring at the clock, making time reverse for all of us, and start winning!

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Copyright The Gazette 1999