Satirists Corner – Back to School Strategies

8.16.17_Features_Cason Ragland_Back to school tips_Flickr_Ricardo Velasquez

Flickr / Ricardo Velasquez

Cason Ragland
Staff Writer

Last summer I decided to play the entire series of the 1980’s prime time soap opera, “Dallas” on a constant loop. Needless to say, I wasn’t lonely at all. Friends of mine would come over to constantly check in on the show.

Throughout the summer, though, I had a nagging feeling that I wasn’t preparing myself for the upcoming fall semester. Even if I knew who shot J.R., it would only impress a professor so much.

Sure, I might be able to get a B or an A- with that kind of knowledge, but I think I can do better. Throughout my many years in academia, I’ve found great ways to tackle the obstacles that a new semester brings. No matter what you study, there are optimal strategies for tackling your first few weeks at school.

Pretend to be the Professor:

You’ll only have a small fraction of time to pull this off, but playing the role of a professor can really bring you into the school year with a bang. On the first day of class, arrive very early. You’re gonna want to look as old and sad as possible. Make sure to hunch over. Soon students will start to trickle in, and once you’ve felt your audience is large enough, start the lecture. As long as you know what class you’re in, it doesn’t really matter what you tell them. Just be as vague as possible.

The important part here is playing the role of the professor. If you really get into it, you’ll feel the knowledge flow through you. Make sure to ignore any hands that may be raised in the air. This will tell the students that you know what you’re talking about, and you, the professor, would rather not be bothered right now. As soon as you see who you think might be the professor, exfiltrate the hot-zone. Not only will you miss the first day of class, but you’ll have to disguise yourself throughout the semester, so long as you don’t withdraw from the lecture. The momentum gained from that first day never really stops, though, so this strategy is definitely worth it.

Designate Your Territory in the Library:

Do you have your supplies? Your rations? Your tent and hot-plate? Every year it’s always the same. At the stroke of midnight, on the last day of summer, all the students rush towards the library to claim their spot for the upcoming academic year. I usually go for a stealthier approach towards the highest floor of the library, that way you can you have a vantage point over any intruders. As far as food goes, your brain pretty much relies entirely on glucose, so I always go for those sour watermelon candies.

You’ll only need water to drink but don’t use the water fountain. Students will often watch you from them as marking posts and observe you. If they uncover your secret spot they’ll gain all the knowledge you’ve accumulated and by then, it’s already too late. Your GPA will fall more and more if students raid your spot, so, constant vigilance is key.  

The Laundry Problem:

For some of us, this will be the first time we do our laundry on our own. The time and effort it takes to understand the process of laundering is exorbitant. There are so many personal and practical choices to be made, from detergent to dryer settings, that it can take away focus from your studies. There are distinct advantages, however, to not doing your laundry at all. The smell alone will keep away any distractions from your books. You can also measure the strength of any given friendship by seeing how long a friend is willing to be entertained within your room. If it’s more than half an hour, then they probably actually like you.  



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