I took a Music 100 class my freshman year of college, Fall semester. 8 AM.
I was a Psych major as a freshman, and later changed to Business. Music 100 was an “elective.” In other words, it was one of several purposeless classes I could “elect” to take just to fulfill my “full time” status as a student until it was time to take all the serious classes for my major. At the time, Penn State required that a student amass ~122 credit hours to receive a degree, though the required Business classes totaled about 60 credits.
(Lesson: half of college is designed to keep you there for nothing and suck money out of you.)
Anyway, back to Music 100. The teacher, let’s call him Mr. Boring, was this middle-aged White guy who spoke in monotone and never laughed or smiled. I’m not sure he liked himself, his job, students, or music. He was the kind of teacher whose main purpose was to show punk freshmen how serious college classes really were. The problem for him was, he had a bullshit topic and no style whatsoever with which to do it.
Mr. Boring, laid down the rules on the first day.
1) No sleeping allowed in class. Mr. Boring spent extra time on this point.
2) Attendance in class factored into your grade. It was one of those, “you can only miss two classes, then you fail” deals. In my experience, professors require attendance only when their subject matter / content is boring and they’re afraid people won’t show up. Forcing people to come makes them feel important.
3) Every student was required to attend a performance of the Philadelphia Orchestra, on their own dime, and do a report on it. You even had to include your ticket with your report as proof that you went to the show.
The class was in an auditorium-style lecture hall, with 200 seats. I always sat all the way in the back, at the top. There were some cute girls in the class who also sat at the top. This article is not about that. Mr. Boring taught exclusively from his desk at the front of the room. He never stood up, never walked around, never used slides or visuals. He would just talk. This works if you have a compelling voice. Mr. Boring earned his name for a reason.
One day, Mr. Boring caught me sleeping during his boring lecture. My excuse is, that day may have been the morning after a road game for the basketball team. Or, I had done all I could to pay attention to Mr. Boring and my focus tapped out. Either way, I was CAUGHT.
I was sitting all the way in the back row of the lecture hall, as far as I could possibly be from Mr. Boring. But the mofo had eyes like a hawk when it came to sleeping students. He instructed a student to jostle me awake, then reprimanded me for 20 seconds for sleeping. I don’t recall exactly what Mr. Boring said, but he did make it clear to everyone that if we couldn’t stay awake in class, we should drop the class as we would fail.
I dropped the class that day. I wasn’t going to see the damn orchestra.
By the way, if you want to put on a show with your work and NEVER put your audience to sleep like Mr. Boring, join us at Work On Your Game University.
Learn more at http://WorkOnYourGameUniversity.com