A Guide to Participating Without Reading

We all have a huge course load here at Georgetown, and sometimes it’s impossible to do all the assigned class preparation. When it comes down to sleep, food, hygiene, studying for a midterm or reading, one of them has got to go. Please don’t sacrifice your personal hygiene, and follow these tips to skip the reading without anyone noticing:
1. Listen to the first participants: The professor’s first question is generally, “What do you think?” or “Can someone explain the text?”. Bam! There you go… the summary of Romeo and Juliet in two sentences.
2. Stare down your professor: Nod your head whenever the professor looks your way and look deeply into his/her eyes. The more uncomfortable the professor feels, the more participation points you earn.
3. Fake it till you make it: Any time the professor asks a question based on outside knowledge eagerly raise your hand and respond. This will keep up the appearance that you know the answers to questions pertaining to the text.
4. Let the professor participate for you: If the professor asks you a question about the text, draw connections between what was said in class and prior experiences to infer an answer. Keep it short so the professor has to fill in the blanks, and nod to confirm whatever he garnered from your pile of BS.
5. Go beyond the text: Ask clarifying questions which show your desire to reach a deeper understanding of the text. Even though you don’t really know what the text is about, you will seem super philosophical and esoteric.
6. Use fancy terminology no one else knows to seem smarter: When participating, draw on facts from completely unrelated classes to highlight your ability to integrate knowledge from a range of studies. The best part about using fact from other classes is that none else knows if you’re right. For example, if you are a finance major in an ethics class throw in a reference to  the financial crisis and relate it to the topic at hand. Talk about liquidity, credit, subprime brokers and mortgages. Make sure to say stocks and bonds a few times, no one will  know what your talking about and assume its really complicated.
7. Wear thick rimmed glasses: Wear your glasses if you normally wear contacts. If you have perfect vision, hijack your hipster friend’s non-prescription pair. This will increase your perceived intelligence by ten-fold.
8. Quote smart people: Quote a famous person even if you have to make up a quote. No one will call you out, as long as you don’t attribute, “Haters gonna hate” to Thomas Jefferson. Quoting a famous person suggests that you read and reading is, of course, something that smart people do.
9. Take notes: When the professor poses a question you don’t know how to answer, just look down to your notebook and furiously write it down. If you forgot your notebook, write on anything that’s available.


Overall, stay entranced by whatever you are doing at all costs. The professor won’t want to interrupt your train of thought (because you look like you are on the brink of solving the Da Vinci Code) and call on someone else. If these guidelines still aren’t enough to help you get by, you could also always just do the reading.
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Kat Vassell

Kat Vassell

Kat is a no longer a new blogger at 4E! She enjoys making people feel uncomfortable with her awkward dance moves, watching nerdy Netflix documentaries and eating cookie dough (in no particular order). When Kat is not bloggin' away, she can be found working with the startup community on fun entrepreneurship events.
Kat Vassell

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