Gerald W Schlabach's Top 10 Ways to Lower Your Grade in Humanities
(or maybe even fail!)

10. Don't read. You don't learn anything anyway, and it just strains your eyes. If you must read, remember that you'll want to get top dollar for your textbooks when you resell them. The trick here is not to underline, write in the margin, or engage the readings any more than necessary.

9. Figure that the "general" in "general education" just has to mean "easy." You came here to master your major so you could get a good job, right? If you let curiosity, citizenship or the meaning of life distract you, you might have to examine your life choices. Not only are 20-year-olds supposed to have their whole life mapped out, but changing course can be painful. Avoid pain at all costs!

8. Ignore those who say that you'll actually be better prepared for the job market if you have a broad education. It just proves that people who know too much are dangerous.

7. A perennial favorite: skip classes (the more the better). If you must come to class, sleep or talk to your friends the whole time.

6. Wait until called upon to participate in lab discussions. Better yet, find subtle ways to pressure other students not to "show off" by talking too much in class; that way you won't learn anything from your colleagues either.

5. Ignore the daily themes in the syllabus, the headings in textbooks, and all other strategically placed clues to what is going on.

4. Don't take notes in class. If you must take notes, only write down what the professor puts on the overhead or blackboard. And the best way to do that is to write it all down madly so you can tune out what the prof is actually saying to elaborate the point. Your profs have this silly idea that the outlines they provide are only a starting point for your own interactive note-taking. Ignore all such strategies.

3. Start rustling your papers and packing your backpack five minutes before the end of the class period. Your professor might have been building up to the most critical point in the whole lecture, so you'll want to be sure to miss it.

2. Refuse to read anything that was not written in the modern prose style of high school textbooks, newspapers, and novels. After all, if you learn to enjoy the rich images, poetic rhythms, leisurely asides, and meticulous sentence constructions of previous centuries, then television might start to seem shallow.

1. Decide right now that all this old stuff can't possibly have anything to do with us today!

Page maintained by Gerald W. Schlabach, Copyright Gerald W. Schlabach. Last updated: 3 September 1997