The first two or three hours of lecture are always the most interesting, it seems. I am fresh off of a warm cup of coffee and eager to start my day as a second-year vet student. Yet, it can be very easy to “zone out” in class. Trust me- I have done it quite frequently. Just ask the girl who sits behind me .
That is not to say that what the professors have come to teach is not important- just that sometimes their voice is soothing enough, or the material being taught is not as thrilling as I might want it to be, or there is the dreaded combination of the two. This might lead one to peruse Facebook, browse your favorite clothing store, or check the weather for the next ten days. Until in an instant the click click click click click of your classmates’ typing brings you back to Earth just as you select “complete my order” on your third (or was it fourth?) online purchase during class time that week.
While I would like to say that I am 100% attentive to every lecture throughout the day, it always amazes me with how much fervor, and consistency, some of my classmates will transcribe what seems to be every word that our professors utter. My attention span seems to pale in comparison to my peers.
Now, I clearly do not have the best approach when it comes to paying attention in class, but I can say with great certainty that transcribing every word will not help me to do well. At times, I sit in lecture without anything in front of me. I have no computer, no printed out lecture notes, not even a piece of paper or pencil. No distractions at all.
I can only do this with certain lectures- those that are engaging because of the professor’s obvious passion for the lecture topic. This happens in most lectures, and most of the time I feel as though I grasp most of the general concepts being taught.
Besides, I know that when exam time comes around, I will have to review and possibly relearn a significant amount of the material; but at least in that moment I feel like I am learning something. Just as I have talked about in earlier posts, school is all about what works for you. I think I am still trying to figure that out!