Just like everyone and their mamas, I get bored in class. But I’ve found a way to entertain myself: the secret is to pay close enough attention so that I can find things to be used as fodder for a humorous skit. It’s perfect because I love sketch comedy writing, and it helps me pay attention during class. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to sit down and write complete skits for these ideas yet, but I know that I’ll have tons of material by the time I do start writing consistently again. I’m going to share some of these with you because I want someone else to enjoy these moments.
From classes that I shopped during Add/Drop period but didn’t enroll in:
- “Many of you are aware of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, yeah?” – Who isn’t aware of the slavery that this country was founded on?
- “How many countries are in West Africa?”- This professor said this quote while pointing to a map with the countries outlined. It was incredible to me that no one spoke up to answer because we literally had to count the countries and reply the number that we got (the answer was/is fifteen).
From classes that I am currently enrolled in (which shall remain anonymous but will be easily identifiable, oh well.):
- “The Buddha goes to great lengths to be generous. If they see a blind person, they may pluck their eyes out and give them to the blind person.”
- “The Buddha taught for a ridiculously short amount of time. He lived to be 81 and taught for 45 years.” – Buddhists seem to expect a lot more than spending half of one’s life teaching from their bodhisattvas.
- “Um, there’s actually a third party. The Independent Party.” – This was said by a student after my professor mistakenly and unforgivably referred to the “two-party system”.
- A student asked one of my professors a question in which the professor took close to a minute to thoroughly answer. The question-asking student dozed off in the middle of the professor’s explanation. I kid you not.
- “Not the pleasure heavens, the 10,000 worlds.” – My professor corrected a student who just couldn’t get the difference between the two.
- Professor: “What do you mean by dissatisfaction?” Student: “Di-sat…Okay, I’ll just use another word.” – I want so hard to believe that this student wasn’t being arrogant but it’s just so much funnier to believe that they genuinely thought the professor didn’t know what dissatisfaction meant and felt the need to repeat it slower.
- There’s a student in one of my classes who consistently asks very long and complicated questions. Once, before answering, my professor stood with their arms folded and glared at said student before answering. Hey, professors are humans and get annoyed too. I wanted the professor to continue glaring and then say “Can you just let me shine for once? Why are you always trying to bring me down?”
Other than writing down the funny things that happen or coming up with skit ideas based on what’s going on in the class, I also like to come up with ridiculous questions to ask my professor during those awkward silences (I don’t actually ask them). Here are some example questions:
- “Why is this class being taught?”
- “Do you know why I thought signing up for this class was a good idea?”
- “So, when bodhisattvas and Tibet? Also, how sutra Zen into the meditation caves?”
Okay, well I think that’s enough. Moral of the story: try to find something that you’re super passionate about and connect it somehow to your more boring classes. That way you can pay attention while still having a blast and you’re more likely to remember what’s being taught if there’s some weird story connected with it. Well, that works for me at least. If you can’t figure out a passion to apply to the classroom setting, just try looking for the humor in it all. It’ll be easy to find, trust me.