4 Ways to Stay Awake in Class

(as always, click to zoom)

(as always, click to zoom)

“Similarly to the amplitude of sinusoidal wave, the obtuse transmutation of the radius/diameter ration is…” And, boom. You’re asleep.

It’s a common occurrence. Depending on the teacher, anywhere from 1 to 90 students may fall asleep in any one class. (No, classes don’t have more than 30 or so students in them, but, depending on the teacher, they may accidentally put entire adjacent classes to sleep as well).

Falling asleep in class is obviously caused by the fact that you don’t get enough sleep. But getting enough sleep is an unrealistic expectation; nobody does that nowadays, not even the Pope—he retired to try to get more sleep. Heck, if we all got enough sleep, we probably would have invented a vaccine for Bieber fever by now.

So, since you’re not likely to get any more sleep, you’ve got to work on staying awake in class. When you fall asleep in class, you usually miss out on vital information that you’ll never need to know to get a job in the future, such as the cosine of a metaphor. Thus, in an effort to help you stay awake, I’ve compiled a few tips that I’ve personally tested*.

*Just not necessarily outside of my imagination.

Shout Embarrassing Things

Adrenaline is great. It keeps us alert when we are facing a terrible situation, such as the possibility that our phone just died. It keeps us from relaxing the night before a big test on the social history of the 9000s, B.C.E. It even gives us a friendly ol’ heart attack when we can’t find our English homework in our binder immediately.

So, why not harness the power of adrenaline to stay awake in class? Train yourself to shout embarrassing things, like “I haven’t brushed my teeth in three months!” or “Does anyone else remember the time I peed myself in fourth grade?” Then, as soon your brain realizes what you just said in your tiredness-induced state, the sheer adrenaline should shake you awake.


Another way to get your adrenaline pumping is to exercise. After all, if you’re like me, you don’t usually fall asleep while playing sports. Heck, the only people who do are usually curling athletes, and when that happens—although I didn’t think it was possible—the sport becomes even more hilarious.

As soon as you feel those eyes droop, start exercising. Mind you, you’re probably sitting in a desk, so you’re going to have to get creative. Pick up your textbooks and do some bicep curls. Lift up your legs and start frantically waving them. Take your hand and jog laps around your desktop with your fingers. Sure, people might begin to think you’re crazy, but hey, nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like a straitjacket.

Use a Water Bottle

Water bottles are terrific when it comes to staying awake in class, and you can use them many ways. If it’s the last class of the day, you can just drench yourself in water and you should be uncomfortable enough that you can’t fall asleep. As a bonus, this can make it look like you wet your pants, which is embarrassing enough to kick in some adrenaline* as well.

If it is the beginning of the day, you can just sip some water—but don’t swallow it. Instead, keep it in your cheeks for as long as possible. This causes you to focus on the water in your mouth, which in turn keeps you awake.

Of course, you may look and feel like a beached whale, and you can’t talk for the rest of class, but at least you are awake. Once you get good at this, though, you may find that you still fall asleep—since you have to focus on it less—so at that point it’s a good idea to invest in a live goldfish or two to make things more interesting.

Finally, if you get a sports water bottle with the nozzle top where you must squeeze/suck the bottle to get water out, you can strategically position it on your desk so that when your head falls forward asleep, you land on the bottle and it squirts you in the neck, splashing you awake. The only risk is that if you’re incredibly tired, you might somehow drown, but that’s pretty rare.

*I am not an actual doctor or biologist. I have no idea if adrenaline is the right term to keep using. As far as I know, adrenaline is what causes puberty, adrenaline is what leaks out of your veins when you get a paper cut, and cancer of the adrenaline is the #1 leading cause of death in teens ages 20-29.

Stop, Drop, and Roll

Even though our elementary school teachers really emphasized this technique, I’ve never had to stop, drop, and roll after catching on fire. Thankfully, I’ve never actually caught on fire. Of course, I’ve also never had to write in cursive, nor go to Sally’s house and ask to borrow eight cookies, leaving her with three cookies left, so go figure.

The point is, nobody has any idea if stop, drop, and roll actually works. Have you ever actually seen someone use this technique effectively? In all honesty, it sounds like the sort of thing I would come up with on this blog. For all we know, stopping, dropping, and rolling only makes sure you’re evenly roasted like some sort of grotesque hot-dog. I mean, if you’re trying to put a fire out, it’s probably harder to aim the hose at the frantic person rolling around spastically on the lawn than it is to spray a person standing still.

But since nobody knows if stop, drop, and roll actually works, you can pretend you’re on fire in class. By the time you’ve stopped rolling around, the “fire” will be put out, so your teacher can’t definitively say whether or not you had been on fire in the first place. And, in dropping and rolling, you’ve probably gotten enough exercise/adrenaline/painful injuries that you can stay awake for the rest of class.

This technique works especially well in classes that actually deal with fire, such as chemistry class, cooking class, or study hall.


Hopefully, you’ll find success with at least one of these techniques. And, hopefully, you won’t be expelled for being schizophrenic or mentally unstable, either. After all, you know what they say: sleep is the greatest thing since sliced bread. (Yes, that means that humans didn’t actually need to sleep until after we invented sliced bread. It’s some odd medical relationship that has to do with the adrenaline of slicing bread, I think).

Yes, I haven’t posted in over a week. Sorry about that, but it’s hard to be funny on less sleep than you have fingers on one hand. Nonetheless, you can always just pretend that it’s 2012 and go read last April’s posts. Of course, if you need something to take up your time, you could work on suing your school to pay for college, as detailed in School Desks: 3 Lawsuits Waiting to Happen (Or, How to Pay for College), published this time last year.

As a heads up, there may be a few changes (one minor, and one semi-major) coming up in the next few months, so stay tuned.

8 Twitter Hashtags that You Should Be Using

Funny Twitter HashtagsIf there’s one thing that seems like it was invented specifically for teens—aside from driving, texting, and gum—it’d have to be the twitter hashtag.

Who else would want to randomly incorporate otherwise irrelevant phrases into messages? Aside from Shakespeare, who’s dead, only teens would want to, of course.

(For those of you that still think “twitter” is the sound that a bird makes, a hashtag is something that comes after the “#” sign. Usually, you can click a hashtag and discover just how badly it is being abused.)

Unfortunately, it seems that hashtags have become an acceptable part of society, which means that in the future TV newscasts will go from displaying hashtags at the bottom of the screen to simply writing them into the script: “Hello, I’m Rich Richardson here with your 6 o’clock news. Hashtag number sign, numeral 6, capital ‘P,’ capital ‘M,’ lowercase word ‘news.’ Our first story of the night deals with a sinkhole that mysteriously enveloped an entire Wal-Mart just outside the metropolitan area. Let me just say: Hashtag, Capital P, ‘prices,’ Capital P, ‘plummeting,’ ladies and gentlemen. Ha ha. Anyways…”

But, since people seem to have gotten used to the mildly to severely annoying trend of the hashtag, this means that teens, as pioneers of many stupid past trends—such as sagging pants or lenseless glasses—need to take our hashtag use to the next level.

In order to help you along, I’ve compiled a list of hashtags you could use as starting points. While some of them may already be hashtags, they are being used improperly; you’ll find the proper uses below.


I don’t need to explain this one. All you need to do is attach this to tweets about stupid things you’ve done because you hadn’t had enough sleep. Eventually, if it catches on, we can use the #NoSleep tweets as evidence in a massive class-action lawsuit against society, the government/education complex, Canada*, or all three.

An example of a properly used #NoSleep might look like this:

“that morning when you accidentally put the toaster in the fridge and the orange juice in the outlet…#NoSleep”

*Because they probably don’t have very aggressive lawyers, although they do have money.


Remember the earlier mention of how teens are really good at starting stupid trends? Well, sadly, we aren’t very good at sustaining them. So, tweet about an old trend you’d like to bring back, such as: 9 button texting, dial-up internet, silly bands, MySpace, Velcro light-up sneakers, pencil-top erasers, the word “hip,” the Harlem shake, etc.

“my legs are sooooo HOT right now its 70 degrees out. wish I had some zip-off pants #BringItBack”


Let’s face it: teens love complaining. In recent years, this had led to a number of dumb phrases in the form [insert group] problems, such as “Rich people problems,” “Popular people problems,” and “Rich popular people problems” (those are joke examples. The only problem rich popular people have is that I just made fun of them).

The point is, I’d like to see some actual problems, to lend some credibility to the phrase itself. Obviously, as teens, one of the types of problems we’re most familiar with is graphing calculator problems, which is why this would be such a useful hashtag.

“don’t know the right y-window settings to find the max and zoomfit didn’t help #GraphingCalculatorProblems”


“can’t integrate 5x+3 over 3×2/3 and don’t know what to do! Heeeellllppp! #GraphingCalculatorProblems”


What if, after reading your tweet, you don’t see any way to attach a hashtag? You can’t tweet without a hashtag. And that’s where the #Hashtag comes in. If you don’t know what to attach, simply add it and you’ve now met the minimum of one annoying unrelated hashtag.

“My hamster just choked on a grape and died. RIP Chuckles #Hashtag”


So, you’ve been trying and trying to figure out this whole hashtag thing, but you really don’t get it: sure, you use hashtags, but they aren’t annoying enough. All that can be solved with the #YOLO_SWAG_LOL hashtag. It’s especially useful if you don’t want people to remember the tweet itself; they’ll read the tweet, then read the hashtag and throw up, forgetting all about the tweet.

“here’s an embarrassing photo of me when I was like not as old as I am now #YOLO_SWAG_LOL”


Even if you’re not on twitter, you’ve probably heard about it: the private message addressed to only one or two people that really should not have been tweeted. Whether it’s tweeting an invitation to hang out at a super secret location, an inside joke, or simply a picture of a politician’s crotch, it just makes the tweeter look, well, like a tweeting twit.

After all, we have to wonder why it was a tweet and not a text. Did they lose their cell phone? Did they confuse the “Twitter” and “Message” icons on their phone? Or are they so naïve as to think that Twitter is simply a second SMS app? Whatever the reason, this hashtag should come in handy.

“@bob wanna hang by the fountain at ten tonite? Ill bring food #ThisShouldveBeenAText”


There are three types of people in this world: those that know grammar, those that don’t know grammar, and those that know grammar just enough to think that they’re in the first group but make so many mistakes that they’re grouped with the second group. This is hashtag for that misunderstood third group.

I mean, teens aren’t grammarians, nor should they be. At the same time, many of us get slightly annoyed by repeated grammatical errors. So, if you’re using the wrong form of a word, or don’t know where to punctuate, just attach this hashtag. At the very least, people will understand that you were just too lazy to look it up.

“just saw a UFO land over theyre bye the tree too abduct some squirrels #IsItToTwoToo”


As the Twitter sensation spreads, more and more people tweet using their smartphones. Unfortunately, most smartphones have a feature known as autocorrect, which pretends to know more than you do. That itself is an outrageous idea—I mean, a computer smarter than a teen? Come on.

Anyway, avoiding autocorrection errors can be a pain, often involving retyping a word many times. If you don’t want to waste your valuable procrastinating time, you should just leave the autocorrection and attach a sarcastic #LoveMyPhone to the end.

“hey all I just bought some awesome shrews at FootLocker for $20 #LoveMyPhone”


The next time you tweet, ask yourself: can I use any of these inventive hashtags? The answer is probably yes. And if it isn’t, well, here’s one that you can attach to whatever you like: #HighSchoolHumorBlogIsAmazing.

If you’re not on twitter, or you’re already using plenty of pointless hashtags, then you might be more interested in something all teens have to do at some point: in-class note taking. And yes, I know it’s awful, as detailed in “The Horror Known as Note-Taking.”