A varied and sometimes erratic record of what I'm learning inside and outside of the classroom

Friday, January 21, 2011

Of Falling Asleep in Academic Institutions

I know I'm dozing off when my thoughts start getting weird.

Random things like pink encyclopedias and dinosaurs making cupcakes often appear in the midst (or mist? haha) of that transition between complete consciousness and full-on sleep. Of course, I only become particularly aware of these strange figments of my semi-consciousness when I'm trying to fight my body as it's attempting to shut down. For instance, grammar class this afternoon. Sentences and indirect objects start melding into verbs from my Latin test this morning and scenes from Disney's Up and someone is flying and there's chocolate and-- "What? Subject predicative? Well, that's, uh..."

Photo credit:
grampymoose on flickr.com
Well, it pains me to have to admit it, but I have fallen asleep in class before. My sincerest apologies to all my professors in whose classes this has occurred, especially if I was sitting in the front row (like I was today--yikes!). I promise I am interested in what you have to say--it's just that likely as not, I'm running on about 5 hours of sleep and not very much food, if any. (Mom, if you're reading this, I promise I'm doing better, in general, at taking care of myself this semester. Love you!) That's kind of what happened last night--I had some things to take care of earlier in the day, which meant that I didn't start my homework and studying for aforementioned Latin exam until about 9:45 pm. Not exactly conducive to staying alert in a grammar class at 1:00 the next afternoon. I promise that I want to learn and that I really do care--I'm just TIRED. (Is it breaking the Honor Code if I occasionally wish there were caffeinated Dr. Pepper available in the Cougareat? No, I honestly haven't ever taken caffeine for stimulus purposes, but I've been sorely tempted.)

Well, I technically haven't ever fallen completely asleep in class, but when you're devoting all your energy to just trying to stay awake, you might as well be completely asleep anyway; you're learning about as much. You know, I used to have no sympathy for the kids back in high school who would put their heads down and sleep through all their classes. (Side note--in one of my classes last year a guy fell asleep and snored through the entire Powerpoint lecture. There were some quiet parts too, when we were supposed to be silently reading, and we could hear the sounds of his slumber resonating from the back...kinda funny.) Anyway, sleeping in school always seemed rather disrespectful to me. I'm still pretty sure some of those snoozing high school kids didn't really care much about their education, but having done my share of dozing, I can look back on them with a less jaundiced eye. There have been times where I honestly feel like I CANNOT keep myself awake. My notes often reflect this--I've started writing a word, but it trails off into an illegible squiggle. I feel bad for my professors--with my fairly limited teaching experience, I know how discouraging/frustrating it can be sometimes when students don't seem to be engaged in the lesson (like those who are sleeping, for example). So will I stop falling asleep in class? Well, realistically, as long as I'm sleep deprived (which is the majority of the time) probably not. But I'll sure try.

(I propose we reinstate naptime for college students. All in favor? Tell you what--I'll let you sleep on it. :) )


  1. I love it, Ariel! I know I've had classes where I am forcing myself to stay awake for the full hour, too. This is one reason I love President Uchtdorf--don't you think we need to slow down sometimes? We always have too much to do. I've been letting some things slide and it'll probably show come midterms . . .

  2. Oh!! Naptime those like 15-20min were u really re-charge all energy!!