Ah, so you’ve come to learn about the phenomenon of academically surviving while sleeping in class. Unfortunately for you, there is no magic spell or cursed ring of power that can grant you both of these results instantaneously. Certain students’ abilities to doze off in class and simultaneously not fail are founded in these principles: 1) the class is not very useful or 2) the class is useful, but not as useful as the textbook and internet.
Let’s be honest, students can learn everything from inside their houses, with YouTube tutorials, online textbooks and other resources. In my opinion, the main purpose of school is to inflict suffering on children so that they understand pain before they enter the “real” world. After all, the bureaucratic and tyrannical education system needs some number derived from the so-called tests of knowledge [pain]. We all know most students would not have the self motivation to learn everything on their own, for though they understand that laziness is a virtue, the rest of society does not. Thus, school and classes work as a double edged sword, motivating students to learn and giving society something to form judgments on.
Outside of that though, classes are rather useless. Students who sleep in class are in fact putting their valuable time to important activities. For behind those deprived, baggy eyes is a student who spent all night learning the material for the test the next day–the only way the student learns anything, truthfully. As a result, the student sleeps through the rest of his or her classes in attempt to fill the lost hours. Mind you, getting good grades while sleeping in class does not mean sleeping in class when there is a test scheduled that day.
Students who sleep in class are truly admirable, as it reflects heavily on the amount of studying, Snapchatting, Instagramming, Facebooking, Buzzfeeding, TV watching and chatting the student was able to accomplish that previous night. And to still achieve stellar grades? Thus proves their miraculous abilities to learn in an incredibly short amount of time. Philosopher John Perry calls it structured procrastination. You can also call it being efficient and smart.
If we think about it logically, how does a teacher-led discussion or lecture actually foster a student’s ability to do well on tests? Firstly, a discussion far from targets the test score; it misses the target completely by developing the wrong sorts of skills such as communication and critical thinking that are never tested on paper. (You may have thought exams tested critical thinking, but if you do enough problems and work enough hours without sleep, even answering those questions becomes mechanical). Secondly, a lecture falls far short from simply reading a textbook or watching a YouTube lecture during independent study time. Given that the textbook isn’t too sleep conducive and the student has no questions for the YouTube lecturer, he or she can eat and play on a smartphone while absorbing information. Multitasking for the win.
This is especially true for math or sciences classes, in which acing the test simply requires an influx of practice problems and the occasional virtual lecture on some calculus theory that could not get across through a physical textbook. However, liberal arts type classes such as English and history are a bit different. These classes are often centered on discussion of books or debate on political motives, which can make grade maintenance rather difficult–especially if there is a participation grade. Luckily, these participation grades are quite minimal for most classes, as society realizes that test grades are not the most accurate form of judging human beings. Because of this, it’s okay to sleep in these classes given that the textbook is effectively absorbed and the student in question has pre-written outlines for every potential essay topic that comes to mind (half joking).
It is indeed no mystery why students sleep in class. But those who fail to fail are a fascinating specimen embodying core values of high schoolism: procrastination, marathon studying, and disregard for class. And so, if they are not naturally brilliant (which even so, only helps to an extent) or have access to all their teacher’s tests through unscrupulous means, there is a lot of hard and painful work behind those slumbering children.
Note: The consequences of deciding to sleep in class are completely the responsibility of the reader’s.