How to Stay in College

  1. Bring the professor newspaper clippings dealing with his subject. Demonstrate fiery interest and give him timely items to mention to the class. If you can't find clippings dealing with his subject, bring any clippings at random. He thinks everything deals with his subject.
  2. Look alert! Take notes eagerly. If you look at your watch, don't stare at it unbelievingly and shake it.
  3. Nod frequently and murmur, "How true!" To you, this seem exaggerated. To him, it's quite objective.
  4. Sit in front, near him. Applies only if you intend to stay awake. If you are going to all the trouble of making a good impression, you might as well let him know who you are, especially in a large class.
  5. Laugh at his jokes. You can tell, if he looks up from his notes and smiles expectantly, that he has told a joke.
  6. Ask for outside reading. You don't have to read it, just ask.
  7. If you must sleep, arrange to be called at the end of the hour. It creates an unfavorable impression if the rest of the class has left, and you sit there dozing.
  8. Be sure the book you read during lecture looks like a book from the course. If you do math in psychology class and psychology in match class, match the books for size and color.
  9. Ask any questions you think he can answer. Conversely, avoid announcing that you have found the answer to a question he couldn't answer, and in your younger brother's second grade reader at that.
  10. Call attention to his writing. It produces an exquisitely pleasant experience connected with you. If you know he's written a book or an article, ask in class if he wrote it.

As to whether or not you want to do some work in addition to all this, well, it's controversial and up to the individual.

Robert Dyson
Department of Psycology and Philosophy
Hunter College, N.Y.