Congratulations on surviving the first week of the new quarter! By now, hopefully all the crashers have either officially registered for the class, or – more preferably – walked out hilariously disappointed by the professor’s adamant assertion that “There’s seriously no more room in this class.” Seeing as half the class is sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall or standing in the hall, the first week of class is always a little cramped, especially considering the awkwardness of a certain someone pulling out the race card and waving it condescendingly in front of the professor’s face. The minute hand tends to tick away quickly during the awkwardness of the first few days. We’re all too busy trying to snag precious syllabi from the professor, who made only enough copies, scoping the class for Winter Quarter friends or engaging in a rare act of note-taking. The first week’s fun, awkward and silly – but now that it’s over, we’re faced with the challenge of mentally forcing the minute hand to tick faster.
Unless you sneak into the classroom to set the clock ahead, or actually have some sort of ability to manipulate time, week two’s energy is typically spent finding ways to “embrace” slow-moving time in class. A lot of people do the texting-under-the-desk thing, though personally I find it moderately disrespectful and highly annoying. At least turn your phone’s sound off, guys.
To occupy time in a less-exasperating fashion, turn to the paper’s Sudoku and neatly tear it out, in lieu of those impossible crossword puzzles. Haven’t yet mastered the wordless crossword puzzle? Or mastered it too quickly? Here’s where the fun time-embracing begins.
Pull out a piece of paper and play tic-tac-toe with your neighbor, a move guaranteed to win you a friend and waste – erm, embrace – a couple minutes. Even more fun is to list all of your debts – credit card bills, unpaid rent, Bank of America over-withdrawal fees, student loans – and spend half an hour agonizing over the number. A fun game is to see if you can divide the total debt evenly into seven. Not because it’s important, but rather because a lot of numbers don’t, and long division is a sure way of wasting paper and time. What’s even more fun is calculating what your GPA could be after the quarter is over. To make the calculated results even more unlikely, assign an “A” to every class, especially to those classes where these tips are employed. Better yet: construct a meticulous “to-do” list, complete with a color-coded legend and a neat addendum of priorities listed from highest to lowest. Fold it into a paper airplane and sail it into the recycling bin at the end of class.
Another hilarious way to embrace your class time is the old rubber-pencil trick, which, if done correctly, will successfully charm a group of three year-olds. Hold a pencil or pen between your thumb and pointer finger and shake it up and down until you optically trick yourself into seeing such a pliant utensil. For additional hilarity, wave the rubber pencil frantically in front of your neighbor and watch as annoyance seeps across his or her face. If you’re sitting next to a friend, or if you just lack humility, create a humorously dirty Mad Lib to share. Leave the blanks for others to fill, and pass the sheet around noisily so everyone has a chance to contribute and giggle.
My personal favorite is to embrace class time by practicing careful typography. Write out the alphabet in every handwriting style or font possible. Experiment with curly “Qs” and “Ls” and “Rs.” Showcase your calligraphy talent on your neighbor’s notebook – he or she will be sure to appreciate it.
Still bored? Change the order of keys on your key chain. Color the bleached strands of the faux-blonde-haired girl in front of you with highlighters. Encourage everyone in your row to contribute his or her own favorite neon color. Avoid Sharpies, though – apparently it’s not as funny when the person can’t rinse the hues from her hair.
Still not finding ways to successfully embrace the clock’s second hand? Too bad. You should be taking notes anyway.