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  • Max Lieber

Top 5 Generalities That Make it Sound Like You've Actually Done the Reading

Finding a way to enter the class discussion can be tough. This is especially difficult when you’re too lazy or overloaded to bother doing the readings for that class. Here are a few general “observations” that will make it sound like you’ve actually done the reading. These vague statements are mainly geared towards classes in the humanities, but a creative STEM major might be able to apply them to something like a biology textbook.

1. “I found what we read to be quite relevant to our world today. It really resonated with me as someone who has lived through a global pandemic.”

Not really sure what this means, but at least we can all kind of relate to it.

2. “I could not help but notice the reading's subterranean Lacanian influences.”

Nobody knows what the fuck "subterranean Lacanian influences" are, but at least you sound smart. Everyone will be too afraid of your immense intellect to question what the hell you just said.

3. “I came away from that passage feeling like: ‘Wow, I never really thought about it in that way before’. I’ve literally gained a whole new perspective just from a few words.”

Wow… So deep...

4. “Even though we all read the same thing, it seems like everyone had a very different interpretation of the text. Just out of curiosity, what's your interpretation of the reading, Professor [blank]?”

Boom. Uno reverse. How does it feel to be put on the spot, asshole? Shifting the attention from yourself to the front of the room will allow you to slink back into anonymity. Watch your professor squirm as they attempt to come up with a feeble answer to their very own question. With any luck, they will launch into a lengthy diatribe that will take up half the remaining class time.

5. "I pretty much agree with what other people have said so far about the reading. I don't remember their name, but I especially agree with the last person's observations about what we read."

This one is really versatile. It works amazingly as a follow-up to a student who the professor frequently calls on, as the teacher's pet has probably memorized every word in the reading (Though by agreeing with them, you may also look like one in the eyes of your peers. There are certain sacrifices which must be made). While it pretty much requires absolutely zero thinking on your part, make sure you screen the room to make sure that the previous comment was not too controversial.

And there you have it. Five things you can say that could honestly mean anything, but will help you effortlessly get that 100% participation in nearly any class. Feel free to spread them out across multiple class discussions, or to use them all in a single discussion. The sky's the limit, though try not to reuse the same one in the same class more than once or the professor might get suspicious.

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