Columns, Opinion

KIRLAND: The throwaway class

I know I really shouldn’t write articles in the middle of class. For one, it’s disrespectful to the professor. More important, not paying attention in lecture is detrimental to my final grade. If I don’t get a good final grade, my grade point average is lowered. If my GPA is lowered, I most certainly won’t be able to study abroad. If I can’t study abroad and get ‘experience’ – whatever people mean when they throw around that word – I won’t get a job when I graduate. If I don’t have a job, then I can’t pay off the mountain of college debt I owe various lenders – thanks, Boston University.

I may have a lot of debt accumulating, but I couldn’t care less as I sit and write this column in the middle of this specific class. I don’t feel guilty about not listening to the professor either. I won’t go as far as to mention what class this is – since the professor hates me enough already for absolutely no reason – but I will say that it is quite boring.’ It is so drab and unappealing to me that it has become my throwaway class.

Everyone has a throwaway class. It’s unavoidable. It’s only human for every student to take his classes, rank them in terms of enjoyability and relevance to what he wants to do with his life and inevitably exert a minimum amount of effort in the class he likes the least. I’ve been doing this since elementary school, when I realized the only thing I hated more than indoor recess was learning about the scientific method. Consequentially, science became my throwaway class from first to eighth grade.

A given class can be labeled one’s throwaway class for a plethora of reasons. Obviously, the main reason is that you just aren’t into the material. If you find that you would rather sit in a classroom where people line up next to the blackboard and scratch it with both hands, you’ve found your throwaway class. If instead of taking notes on the lecture you draw devilishly entertaining caricatures of your professor or teacher and can’t help but smile, you are sitting in your throwaway. Finally, if you find ridiculous things to do instead of doing homework for a class – like clean your roommate’s side of the room and wash his clothes – you have a winner for this semester’s throwaway.

Having a throwaway class is not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, it is certain to be a GPA diluter. However, it is essential to one’s mental and physical health. Being forced to go to a class that you don’t want anything to do with benefits you mentally. Your body’s movement might be limited to small gestures around a desk, but your mind is free to drift away to far away places. You can daydream about anything you want and your imagination gets some much-needed exercise. In regards to physical health, a throwaway class is a perfect opportunity to catch up on some essential sleep. There is nothing like conking out at the beginning of a class and waking up refreshed and realizing the lecture is over.

This is not to say that you have to use your throwaway class to daydream or sleep. A lot of people wisely choose to be more active in this crucial free time. It can be utilized as time to catch up with friends from home via text messages written under the desk. If you have your computer, you can angle your body so your teacher can’t see you checking Facebook to see how those friends’ weekends went. If you are behind in work and have a paper due for you favorite class the next day, the throwaway class provides a perfect opportunity to proofread and make final changes in a quiet environment. Essays aren’t the only schoolwork you can catch up on. If you are skilled enough, or are just in a huge lecture hall, you can catch up on readings for a test in another class.

The throwaway class helps most students make it through the week by supplying them with scheduled ‘me time.’ The beautiful thing about this opportunity is that individuals can use it any way they like. If you are smart with your time, you can take a short nap, text a friend and put the finishing touches on a paper, all in under an hour.’ A class that you originally thought would be useless and flat ironically becomes your most productive hour of the day.

Heck, you can even write a column in a throwaway class – uh oh! My professor is walking up the aisle for some reason and she’s staring right at me! She must be on to me. Maybe I should rethink the concept of a throwaway class. I hope she doesn’t read The Daily Free Press.

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