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How to survive in a boring lecture?

whohuhwhohuh Posts: 59Registered User Junior Member
edited September 2008 in College Life
First off, I'd just like to say I hate math but its required for my major. And I'm doing the best I can in that class. I take notes from the textbook( because the prof is really disorganized when he tries to teach the class), but that thing sucks too, I do my homework until its completed, and I go to tutoring almost every day of the week.

But I just can't seem to get anything out of that class, I get the basics, but when a problem comes along its much more difficult than what I learned. And my minds wanders in that class, I honestly gave my full attention the first 2 weeks of class but I didn't understand anyting he taught because he jumps from thought to thought. I even went ahead the class by a day so I would be exposed to what he was saying the next day. But it totally feels like I'm lost in there. Does anyone have any tips for that class and concentration techniques I can use?

Also its too late to drop the class :(
Post edited by whohuh on

Replies to: How to survive in a boring lecture?

  • and1swish90and1swish90 Posts: 112Registered User Junior Member
    find a friend who knows his stuff, and do your hw together.
  • soccerguy315soccerguy315 Posts: 6,618Registered User Senior Member
  • WabashWabash Posts: 994Registered User Member
    i would go to office hours over trying to find a friends who knows it because you could get side tracked easily.
  • nontraditionalnontraditional Posts: 519Registered User Member
    I'm assuming you're not being asked to solve any problems that no mathematician has solved to date, but merely to use techniques already developed by others.

    If that's the case, then there is nothing in the class that is actually very hard.

    The problems, with every student I've ever dealt with who has trouble, are (a) that there are a whole lot of little pieces, enough that it's very easy to miss some, often without noticing, (b) that while the pieces are probably being taught separately you are probably not being given problems that give you a chance to master and drill each piece separately so that you are either struggling to master and work with a bunch of little pieces all at once or spending a lot of time doing things you know how to do and not spending a lot of time working on the things you do not know how to do, and (c) that everything builds on what has already happened, so that if you miss one or two little pieces early on (which, as I have said, is easy to do) it can affect your whole performance going forward.

    In other words, while I don't think there's anything very hard in these classes, I also think it is ridiculously easy for many intelligent hardowrking people to stumble and get into trouble.

    You're already doing most of what I would suggest that you do, particularly including (a) getting help on a regular basis and (b) already working on a day's work before you show up for a lecture so that you are as prepared as possible to understand it.

    Are you in a position to pick which tutors you want to work with? Is it possible to work with someone who is good at generating problems for you to solve and who might be open to generating very easy problems for each skill instead of larger problems that require you to use a number of skills? Do you have a sense of what it is that you don't know, or do you just know that you are lost? Have you encountered math books in the past that you liked better than most? If so, do you know what it was about those books that you liked?

    When you say that your professor "jumps from thought to thought," do you mean that he moves quickly from one skill or technique to another, or do you mean something else?

    What course are you taking?

    Feel free to treat all those as rhetorical, of course. But if you're interested in keeping the conversation going, feel free to do it in this thread or by pm.
  • OKgirlOKgirl Posts: 2,134Registered User Senior Member
    Do we have the same class? lol My math professor is.....different. Hardly anyone understands what he's talking about (even people that have already had calc and know what to do are confused when they leave) and half the time I think he doesn't know what he's doing either.

    What I've done is found some people who know what they are doing and I read the section on my own. By then I pretty much understand, but if I don't then I ask him to help me work a problem that I had difficulty with. It sucks because I usually end up understanding the topic after we turn in the assignment or after the test :( . Would it be possible for you to attend a different professor's lecture?

    As for concentrating in classes......I used to always go to Sonic and get a large ice water. The coldness helped to keep me awake and concentrating. You just have to force yourself to pay attention even if you feel like you aren't getting anything out of it because you probably actually are.
  • mregomrego Posts: 1,038Registered User Senior Member
    I have had classes where the instructor spoke in the most boring monotone voice that was quickly tuned out by everyone. On many occasions people fell asleep. Don't take these classes right after lunch or early in the morning. Next, sit next to someone who you've given permission to elbow you if you nod off. Ask lots of questions to keep yourself involved.
  • BronxBombers7BronxBombers7 Posts: 354Registered User Member
    I've heard people say that chewing gum can help you concentrate. It's not high school anymore, you're allowed to do that in class now ; )
  • hikidshikids Posts: 1,284Registered User Senior Member
    Office hours and tutoring may help. As for inclass, a touch of coffee can help, along with the determination that this will only last a few more weeks and you can do it.
  • redwingshockeyredwingshockey Posts: 348User Awaiting Email Confirmation Member
    Bring your laptop and teach yourself the topics as you go along in class - Hello, Wikipedia haha. Seriously though, try to look up some things online in forums and stuff, theres usually a lot of useful information - or find some kids in the class and start a study group.
  • Lala7819Lala7819 Posts: 84Registered User Junior Member
    I had a really flighty teacher for my first colleg math class, and I hadn't had a math class in 5 years before that, so it was... interesting to say the least. She was easily side tracked and before completing a thought (or explaining a system, formula, or equation) she'd start answering something totally different, then forget about the topic she left hanging. Thank goodness I found the book had a student solutions manual published for it, it showed the process for completing the problems, and I learned by example and through working through the problems along with the book, no thanks to the teacher. Then again, she was also very open to helping at different times when she was around, and our school has a 'math lab' with different profs helping students with math during certain hours, and peer tutoring in the library... But I am never one to seek help outside of class, when class is out I have to go, cause my schedule is too full, and school is to far away to come in those off hours just for help.

    I would suggest the resources of classmates if the teacher allows it. I also think another way I got through that class is because the teacher confused the girl next to me just as much as she confused me, so while she would get sidetracked from something she was teaching, me and the classmate would ignore her new topic and work through the problem she left off at together. Ended up with an A at the end of that too, one of my most challenging.
  • bannana_girlbannana_girl Posts: 1,093Registered User Member
    get unlimited text messaging :)
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