Helium, News

Steps to Ensure Off-Topic Discussion

By Peri Karpishpan ‘23, Staff Writer 

In the age of remote learning, some classes seem to go on forever. Here are a few tips to help you distract your teachers and send them off on an unrelated tangent to ensure your class feels just a little bit shorter. 

  1. Know thy teacher. Be it sports, politics, or the history of class struggle, every teacher’s got a love for some topic. Identify it and use it to your advantage!
  2. Come a little early. This one seems a little counterintuitive, but it is very important. It is much easier to keep a conversation going if it starts, say, three minutes before class. Also, it is less obvious that you are wasting time with an off-topic discussion if it is merely a continuation, rather than a new discussion begun at the beginning of class.  
  3. Understand the subject. You cannot have a proper discussion (at least one long enough to waste time in class) without knowing the subject beforehand. Be prepared with a well-timed question to keep the conversation going. 
  4. Never give up. It might take a little while to get the discussion going, but keep at it with the questions and comments. Eventually the teacher will bite. 
  5. Make sure the teacher is involved. You cannot have a successful off-topic discussion to delay a class with just your friends; that is considered talking out of turn. With a teacher, it is considered being friendly— a very important distinction. 

Have fun! Even though this tactic is commonly used merely as a means of delaying actual learning, take it seriously and enjoy it. Who knows? You might even learn something new and interesting about your teacher!

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