Opinion

EDITORIAL : But I’m too asleep to study

There’s a certain room in the Cox science center that is, simply put, excessively conducive to napping. With a specific combination of lighting (dim), temperature (frigid), and the fact that your professor is in a different time zone down there at the blackboard, you just can’t resist lapsing into unconsciousness. In that momentary comatose bliss, while your classmates draw on your face and your drool puddle drips off the edge of the desk, you dream wonderful visions of organic compounds and DNA strands dancing their beautiful molecular ballet-until you awake with a gasp and realize that you’ve slept through the review and are going to fail the final.

Similarly, the seats in the Learning Center and Business school appear more favorable to snoozing than to studying. At the end of class, you return in a groggy daze to your room, dropping your books somewhere between the door and your bed-and you’re out. Yes, you went to all your classes, but the sandman went with you, and with a vengeance, it seems. “I wish,” you manage to mumble to your roommate, your head muffled by the pillow, “there were a way to study and sleep at the same time!” In your dreams, right?

Yes! Dreams! The one untapped resource we all possess, we all learn from, and sometimes enjoy, yet can never control. You’ve tried (admit it) putting that textbook under your pillow at night, but it seems like more information leaked out than flowed in.

Imagine: you stumble into your morning class, bland coffee in your hand and hair matted around your face. You take one glance at the octogenarian professor and grimace-then quickly slip the wonderful new Dreameducation(c)(r) helmet on your head, close your eyes, and fade off into cyberspace fantasies. No worry about nodding off during class-in fact, now you have to worry about waking up, and interrupting the lesson. An hour later, you awake, feeling refreshed, and smarter.

Think of the possibilities: not only can a Dreameducation help you pass class in an unconscious state, but it can also do so in a superbly unorthodox fashion. Learn philosophy in Plato’s living room. Have your dreams’ dreams interpreted in Freud’s office. Learn about the behavior of birds by flying through the skies with them. Pet a dinosaur.

True, it sounds far-fetched, but not any more than some of the things you’ve done in a cramming spree-how does eating the pages make you learn? With major advances in brain research and technology, the science of controlling our dreams may not be too distant.

But alas, here we are, stuck in the backwards twenty-first century, where we still have to read and go to class to learn. Sheesh. Well, with a week left until the end of classes, looks like you’ll have to rely on “traditional” methods of education to pass this semester. Unless you’ve already eaten your book. Passing? Ha, in your dreams.

April 18, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.