I'm continuing my series of mini-guides of dealing with interestingly irritating professor stereotypes today! Let's just jump right in, shall we?
"Sleeping through every one of my classes is not an option."
Professor Ben Stein
Who is Professor Ben Stein? He's Ben Motha****-ing Stein, that's who. Sorry, couldn't resist! Prof Stein is a snail in a worsted wool suit that smells like mothballs, thrift shops & dead old people, leading you to question if he is in fact dead. He's been teaching World History since the written language was invented. He teaches it the same way every single semester - pro, you can get someone else's notes; con, if you fail this course, when you retake it it will be the worst case of deja vu EVER. He chooses the driest ways of teaching - droning on & assigning HUGE portions of the textbook to read.
Signs you've got a Professor Ben Stein on your hands... Prof Stein doesn't exhibit much of a sense of humor. Or empathy for boredom. Or life signs. Groans of agony at the assignment of a five page paper on some obscure dead person doesn't phase them. Their boring methods may extend to other areas as well, like another damn set of slides, or more freakin' basic experiment setups, but the key factor is repetition. There is no excitement about going to Ben Stein's class, because its always going to be SS;DD.
How to handle a class taught by a Professor Ben Stein... What's going to help you most in this class is finding your own way to learn the material. Dull Prof's Stein might be covering the material, but if his way isn't getting through to you, its not going to stick. Attend lectures, & take notes. Actively listening & putting the key points into your own words is one of the best ways to memorize this boring drivel.
If the prof assigns 400 pages to be read before the next class, skim the material - look for headings, bold words, & study diagrams/pictures. Check the ends of chapters for a summary of definitions & key information. If you're absolutely not going to read through the whole mess, read the summary & be sure you know what the big picture is for the chapter. If there are questions at the end, & try to answer them by skimming back through the text. Searching for matching content activates your brain's memory banks very well.
Lastly, learn from alternative sources. It might piss you off to be paying for a class you hate, & it might make you positively livid to have to waste time outside of that class learning about material you hate, but you have to pass somehow. Try visiting a tutor, studying diagrams, checking out the solutions manual or study guide for your textbook (the university library should have them so you don't need to buy one), watching a video, researching online, etc.
Again, I'd like to give a shoutout to Anki, the virtual flashcards program I mentioned in my previous post. The act of typing your own flashcards really strengthens your ability to remember the material, & studying them seals it in!
Thanks for reading!