Stay­ing alert in class

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HIGHER EDUCATION - By EllEn WhytE

LET’S agree that all teach­ers are amaz­ingly won­der­ful people who ex­cel at their job.

Now that’s out of the way: Are there times when you’ve pulled an all-nighter, are bored by a pre­sen­ta­tion that moves too slowly for your taste, or face some other sit­u­a­tion where you are prac­ti­cally fall­ing asleep?

Sit­ting in a room and be­ing forced to lis­ten to some­thing when you’re not en­gaged is tir­ing, frus­trat­ing and de­press­ing. What’s re­ally an­noy­ing though it that you might switch off and miss the group mov­ing on to some­thing hugely im­por­tant.

If you find yourself fight­ing to keep your eyes open, check out these tips.

1) Ask: Is it me? If this is a reg­u­lar prob­lem, start by ex­am­in­ing your life­style.

Are you get­ting enough sleep? Are you eat­ing prop­erly? (We’re talk­ing veg­gies, milk and all that good stuff, not deep-fried break­fast, lunch and din­ner!)

Are you ex­er­cis­ing ev­ery day or ev­ery sec­ond day? Do you have a rea­son­able life-study bal­ance? If not, then chances are it’s not class but you – so get your life­style into shape. 2) Look for pas­sion Find some­thing about the class that you care about: not exam re­sults but some­thing you feel pas­sion­ately about. If you can con­nect with the con­tent, you’ll be in­ter­ested and that will nat­u­rally hone your at­ten­tion. 3) Qui­etly busy If it’s a long class, keep­ing a lit­tle bit ac­tive will help you fo­cus. Drink­ing wa­ter and chew gum will keep your body busy. Al­ter­na­tively, try a bit of quiet acu­pres­sure: pinch your ear lobes or rub briskly be­tween your thumb and fore­fin­ger. 4) Work your body If you are to­tally cer­tain that the next five min­utes won’t cover any­thing you don’t al­ready know, take a toi­let break. Wake yourself up by jog­ging to a loo that’s far away so that your body pro­duces adren­a­line (a nat­u­ral en­ergy boost) and then run cold wa­ter over your wrists and face.

Now you should be good to go an­other hour.

Sit­ting in a room and be­ing forced to lis­ten to some­thing when you’re not en­gaged is tir­ing, frus­trat­ing and de­press­ing. — AFP

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