Rendall or the CTH: The 10 stages you go through in a lecture
Optimism, meal deals and lots and lots of napping
Looking back on our memories of education we instantly begin to think about our time in secondary school and how lessons were places where a whole host of fun could be had. Fast forward a few years, and here we are in the darkest depths of uni. Education that consists of the most unattractive learning method anyone could think of – lectures. These commonly consist of 2 intense hours of learning, otherwise known as 2 intense hours of torture. A lot can happen within these 2 hours – concentration not being one of them.
Stage 1: The opportunistic stage (Duration 5-10 minutes)
The first and most often forgotten stage of a lecture, is the first 5-10 minutes when you feel motivated and ready to learn. You think to yourself how ready you are for this lecture, and how excited you are for it to start. These are the few minutes of a lecture that you actually want to be there.
10 minutes down the line you contemplate why you actually came. Now it is definitely too late to leave; you have to sit tight, holding out for the next 50 minutes or so until your break – that is if you get one.
Stage 2: The emotional stage (Duration 10 minutes)
Having realised what you have signed up for, and that there is no escape, you slowly begin to realise that you will be there for the whole slideshow, whether or not it’s 84 slides long. In this stage you endure some emotional unrest, starting with anger for losing concentration so soon, and for subjecting yourself to such terror and pain – fuelled by the rhythmic coughing coming from the crowd around you. It really does feel like the walls of the daunting Sherrington lecture theatre are closing in on you! This is usually followed by remorse and sadness as you begin to picture all the things you could possibly be doing with your time now, and that this is 2 hours you are never going to get back.
Stage 3: The Boredom Banquet (Duration 10 minutes)
Following the emotional unrest endured in stage 2, you turn to food for comfort. You bought a meal deal from the guild with the plan of enjoying it during the break, knowing this was a lie to yourself and your friends when you told them it. Secretly, you knew that you’d be sat there, half an hour in, realising the break is still an eternity away and Professor Slow is only on slide 14 of 84. You’ve got no other option but to turn to the meal deal for moral support. You spend the next 10 minutes quietly eating your sandwich whilst staring blankly at the screen.
Stage 4: Napping (Duration 15 minutes)
It’s as if you have just finished your Sunday dinner at home, sat on the sofa watching Countryfile on TV, dozing off to sleep. However in this instance switch the sofa for a rather uncomfortable pew, and Countryfile for Jim the lecturer who speaks at 0.01 mph and could possibly feature in next years Guinness Book of World Records, for the most monotone voice – and you’ve got yourself a nap! The most common position for this is using your bag, coat or even notepad as a cushion to lay your head on the desk in front of you. However if you are a dedicated lecture napper then you might want to invest in one of those funky neck pillows – you know the ones that everyone uses on long distance flights?
Stage 5: The Break (Duration 5-15 minutes depending on the generosity of the lecturer)
Whether your 40 winks has been successful or not, the next stage is the break, because you deserve bloody deserve it. The lecturer notes how they are stopping for a toilet break, and you spend 2 minutes contemplating whether to take this suggestion to the next extreme and go to the toilet, in your flat, followed by bed. Or in other words picking up your bag and leaving, with a false feeling of achievement for attending the first hour. Having thought about it in depth, you decide to leave, afterall Crown is only a 2 minute stroll away! Turning to your friend for approval, they shut down your plans and say how they want to stay as they are enjoying the lecture. You give them a disapproving look, possibly questioning your friendship with this person, as they have now terminated your plans of leaving, because you can’t leave without them – it really is an everybody or nobody rule.
Stage 6: The Attention Seeking stage (Duration 10 minutes)
Finding it difficult to deal with the fact that you were unable to leave the lecture because of your busy-body friend, not helped by the matter of fact that you have again missed your window to leave without any questions, you decide to annoy your fellow lecture buddies, because frankly if you can’t enjoy the lecture, neither can they. What happens next is a whole host of annoying attributes, including doodling on their notes, attempting to tickle them and picking upon things that annoy them the most: such as creating repetitive noises.
Stage 7: The Boredom (without a banquet) (Duration 15 minutes)
This may only last 15 minutes, but trust me when you are bored, 15 minutes could seem like 15 days in a lecture theatre. This stage kind of just creeps up and slams you in the face, like Sideshow Bob when he stands on a rake. You suddenly find yourself running out of activities to engage yourself in, you are close to the end, yet still far away. You may simply just sit there and think about all the work you could (not) be doing sat around the lovely SJ (HC does not even cross your mind, because lets face it the layout is stupid) or spending your time in the Sphinx drinking cocktails. You try to browse social media or even play around with Snapchat filters, yet you realise it is the middle of the day and sadly not many people will be posting on Instagram. It feels like there is no light at the end of this long journey.
Stage 8: The deep deadly analysis (Duration 10 minutes)
In order to compensate for the boredom you begin to pay possibly the most attention since you have entered the room, however possibly in the most negative way. You begin to pick apart everything in the lecture, including the stupid layout of the room if you are in a rather unattractive lecture theatre like Chadwick or Muspratt, the lecture slides and even the lecturer often voicing your disapproval to your friend next to you or perhaps even texting them angrily, lectures really are a stressful time for students where emotions can run high.
Stage 9: The questioning life decisions (Duration ongoing until the end)
Realising your hatred for everything around you in the room, you begin to question what you are actually doing? Why are you here? What purpose does this even have? You may be talking about the lecture, the entire module or even question why you even came to uni in the first place. It is the dark and penultimate stage to a tough, long ride, consisting of minimal concentration, non-existent notes and a banging headache.
Stage 10: The Freedom (Duration 5 minutes)
Having finished your deep analysis of your life decisions and promising to your friend that you are dropping out of uni and finding a full-time job you finally enter the final stage of the lecture. It’s approaching quarter to and everyone around you is itching to get out of the room. After the lecturer has finished reading out the conclusion and summary (word for word by the way), you finally sigh with relief, you are free. The lecture is over, and you are free to reside to your busy student life of sleeping, eating and repeating.
Until tomorrow of course, when you have to go through it all over again.