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6WS-I Still Love Pulling All-Nighters

March 12, 2011

I Still Love Pulling All-Nighters

So I’m taking this class that requires us to watch lessons on DVD. There are four of us in the class, and we meet once a week for 8 weeks out of the quarter. The DVD is 2 hours long but with a break, announcements, and discussion time it’s a solid 2.5-3 hours. That’s not too bad though, you do get used to it. 

What’s really fun, however, are the “Intensives.” They are just that… intense. Instead of just watching one, you watch 4 DVDs in two days. Yessirreebob, that’s 8 hours (minimum) of teaching time, not even counting breaks, meals, discussion, etc. We typically start on a Friday night, get through as much as we can of the first 2 DVDs, then gather the next morning for the rest. 

Well yesterday we did something a bit different. We just didn’t stop watching the DVDs! One of the other students suggested it. How about we just pull an all-nighter, he said. Stay here till 2, 3, 4 am, whatever it takes, and then we can all go home to bed, and not have to worry about coming back in.

You know, we all kinda liked the sound of that. So the people who were married contacted their significant others and got permission. I asked myself, and gave myself the ok. 🙂

So we watched, and we watched, and we watched.

And we learned something very important… coloring is awesome.

Oh yes, I said coloring. Here’s the deal. Some people learn by writing–taking notes. Some learn by listening. Some learn by reading. When you are a listener, or when you find that taking notes just isn’t quite working for you, it’s found to be very helpful to have something to do with your hands. One of our class members crochets. I brought cards to work on (I enjoy making cards for friends). Well, there was one person with nothing to do… but I had spare coloring pencils, and we were able to rustle up some coloring books. 

It really did help get everyone through the class! When you’re listening to someone speak, especially over DVD, it’s much better to have something to do with your hands to keep your brain awake and engaged, because then you’re able to actually hear the presenter, as opposed to being so bored that your mind wanders, or you actually fall asleep.

(Ok I know, some of you may be judging me right now for allowing coloring. But I will have you know that we had some really fantastic discussions during the discussion time, and I am quite confident in my class’s ability to do well on the exams. It’s just that staring at the TV while listening to this man ranked somewhere just above scraping a toothpick across your skin for fun.)

Did I mention that this man was probably the least gregarious speaker EVER? 

Boys and girls, let me give you a free lesson on public speaking. Never, ever, unless you have a physical need, do your teaching from a seated position. Ever. EVER. If you are not standing up, you will fall prey to the same lethargy that your students are feeling. Problem is, they can’t do anything about it, and you can. 

No matter how much you love your material, you still have to present it to people who run the gamut between interested and apathetic, and each of them would like nothing better than for you to present your information in an engaging, thought-provoking, and (dare I say it) entertaining manner. This does not mean you have to ride a unicycle and juggle to get your audience’s attention. Just imagine if you were at a lecture for something that held your interest but not your total heart. How would you like the speaker to be? Fully engaged, or sitting, reading from their notes, and just, well, blah?

Please don’t judge me too harshly for critiquing this man’s speaking ability! I say these things as lessons to myself, because someday I would like to be up in front of audiences, presenting information. And I need to know what works, and what doesn’t.

So I can say that what I do know works–coloring. And 5-hour energy drinks (if you split one with someone does that make it a 2.5 hour energy drink?) And, sometimes, pulling an all-nighter (or a super late night at least) just to push through it, and move on.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2011 2:21 pm

    So true! I took Oceanography in college – a class I thought I would enjoy. However, the teacher sat all hunched over on a stool at the front of the class, wearing a shirt the same beige color as the walls, and droned on and on and on in lecture. I learned…. nothing. Not.a.thing.

    I agree – sometimes powering through is better than breaking it up. And I had many a page of notes with little drawings around the edges – I like to keep my hands busy, too!

    • March 12, 2011 2:40 pm

      Man, that’s so disappointing isn’t it, when you want to learn but it’s almost impossible? So sad!

  2. Karen S. permalink
    March 13, 2011 10:13 am

    Not me! I did one Friday night up way too early and then went to work for about 9 hours! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    • March 14, 2011 9:24 pm

      Oh man, that’s no fun at all. I’d never want to do that! (Ok I have done that but I’d never want to do it again)

  3. March 14, 2011 7:07 pm

    I love coloring! I’ve never tried it in that situation but I’ve heard it works. Your description of the classes reminds me of what my husband went through with his MBA courses.

    Thanks for playing 6WS!

    • March 14, 2011 9:25 pm

      Yeah it’s a graduate-level program, which is really cool but unless you’re deeply in love with every one of the lectures it can be a bit tough. But yes coloring was helpful. 🙂

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