The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, April 12, 1999, Image 3

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Page 3 • Monday, April 12, 1999
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Call Mark at 691
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? a Bible study *
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»r Mark at 764-1:
A&M Women
will be practice'
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me awa ij
Students find inventive ways to keep eyes open during class
Story by Susan Overcash • Graphics by Michael Wagener
magine: water is lapping at
golden beaches, sun-drenched
anti steamy. The sky is clear
j crystal blue, and a cool drink
being brought down by the
He eans down to whisper in
jr |ar, “What is the second de-
atiye of secant squared by the
;ine of yz?” The last piece of
s Jaydream remembered is a
)fefesor shouting, “pay atten-
Daydreams, drawing and delv-
; through the Internet are all pas-
lesbf students during class, time
‘am to be spent lis
ting to a pro-
sorjor learn- 'N, x
B new f
iterial. (L i
of our work on Maple, on the com
puter,” Fiurito said. “I would
watch the World Cup over the In
ternet instead.”
Many modern classrooms are
equipped with laptop computers,
most of which have Internet ac
cess and e-mail.
Fiurito is not the only student
who passes class time on the In
Larry Lumpkin, a junior chem
ical engineering major, said Inter
net games, such as “Home Run
Rally,” keep him awake in inter
minable classes.
Nora Rangel, a senior political
science major, said class is often
a good time to plan her week.
'ing this year'sG
mg the park-ami-
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Building, to L^..
n of people tisft'l f
e shuttle this yea: K*
t a lot of pec:.: I
vhomighthave Fiurito, a petroleum engi-
driving.” ?r i n S graduate student, said he
en sketches or searches through
j Internet during class.
lentifieriasaVr I ast summer > 1 was takin § dif -
‘ 6 3 ential equations, and we did all
“I usually pull out my planner
and start scheduling,” Rangel
said. “My roommate is also in a
couple of my classes, and we’ll
write back and forth to one an
other. ”
Rangel said she most often day
dreams through boring lectures.
The question might arise,
why are students turning
their nose up at acade
mics, when tuition
and fees average over
$100 per class hour.
Fiurito said after
spending a certain
amount of time in
school, students find it
difficult to continue
paying attention.
“You reach a point
where it doesn’t make a
difference,” Fiurito said.
“After six years of school. I’ve
realized there’s more to life.”
Fiurito said a difficult class or a
professor who is hard to under
stand also makes it difficult to pay
“I mean, you’re sitting there in
class, trying to pay attention, and
nothing makes sense,” he said.
“So instead, you start sitting there
plotting, ‘How can I kill this bas
Brent White, a junior
biomedical science major,
also said an uninteresting
professor makes class time a
waste of time.
“I hardly ever pay attention,”
White said. “In most classes, the
teacher’s not worth listening to
anyway. ”
Carrie Cardon, a senior infor
mation systems major, said a pro
fessor’s ineffective presentation
style also contributes to a
short attention span.
“Most classes,
the teachers just
have Power
Point notes,”
Cardon said.
“There’s no
point in paying
attention; the
notes are avail
able on the
Web. I mean, I
can read.”
Stephanie Knight,
associate professor in the
Department of Educational Psy
chology and Director for the Cen
ter of Collaborating Learning
Communities, said many profes
sors, especially in large lectures,
try to present students with too
much information.
“We know in educational psy
chology that humans can only
process information at a certain
rate,” Knight said.
“If they’re overloaded, they
can’t retain what they’ve learned.
Students tune out like a machine
that is overloaded.”
What can a professor do to re
solve this dilemma? Knight said
adding variation to a lecture and
getting to know students extends
attentions spans.
“My favorite example of this is
Ferris Beuller’s Day Off every pro
fessor should see that,” Knight
said. “Professors need to vary
what they’re doing, in chunks of
five to ten minutes.
“Vary voice tone, movement
and content and interject activities
that allow students to be active
physically and mentally. Also, al
low questions and know student’s
names. I think a good sense of hu
mor also helps.”
Knight said students have a dif
ficult time paying attention to sub
jects not directly relevant to their
“Recent learning theory sug
gests that people listen to what
they think is relevant,” she
said. “The professor needs to
know their students and
maintain relevance.”
Rangel said she agrees that
professors who focus on stu
dent needs, as well as acade
mics, help her pay attention.
“I think a better sense of
humor and more interaction
with students help me pay
attention,” Rangel said. “A
lot of times, they’ll come in
with a set agenda and have to
cover specific points, and that can
be very boring. I have one class,
human sexuality, and our profes
sor is the best. He’s very open,
and our class can talk about any
thing. ”
Knight said in lecture, profes
sor’s should extend material cov
ered in the book through examples
and anecdotes.
On the student side, Knight
said students should try to devel
op better note-taking skills and
get involved in class by asking
“Use various kinds of note-tak
ing strategies, changing the infor
mation format when writing it
down,” Knight said.
“The more you transform in
formation, the better you remem
ber it later. If you’re writing notes
verbatim, you’re not thinking
about the information. If there’s
opportunity, ask questions and
think of examples of what the pro
fessor is talking about. If all else
fails, have a cup of coffee before
If you didn’t signupforROTC as a freshman or sophomore,
you can still catch up to your classmates by attending Army
ROTC Camp Challenge, a paid five-week course in leadership.
By the time you have graduated from college, you'll have the
credentials of an Army officer. You'll also have the discipline,
experience and self-confidence you need to succeed in college
and beyond.
For details, contact Captain Robert Magee at (409) 845-2814.
:oilege station
it manager ^ ^ %
Shopping Malls in the
Ty Matejowsky presents on the culture
and urbanization of the Philijppfp^s
Tuesday, April 13
8:30 p.m.
Rudder 703
MSC L.T. Jordan Institute for
International Awareness
Please call 84S'877Q to Inform us of your special needs
I more reason you should prepare
with our LSAT course
With three different schedules to choose from, and our
office location near Bullwinkle's, our LSAT course is the
Also, the JUNE LSAT is given on a Monday at 2pm. So, if
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Take Back the Might
A time to bring an end to sexual violence.
A time to understand how sexual violence affects all of us.
A time for each of us to take a stand.
Thursday, April 15th, 7:00 pm, 282A MSC
March from Rudder Fountain Immudlataly following
Partial funding available to student organizations
and academic departments producing programs
with an international focus in 1999->2000
MSC L.T. Jordan Institute
for International Awareness
Enrichment Fund
For application information,
stop by the MSC L.T. Jordan Institute office
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