Don’t wake the sleeping giant

November 12th, 2009

There’s a legend at John Carroll. He roams among us, and whether he’s conscious or not, he should be appreciated.

He is the notorious napper (or Rob C. as I’ll be referring to him for the rest of this column), and he serves the JCU community in many ways I’m sure you never recognized.

In 8 a.m. classes, he might be present, he might not be, but I guarantee you this: he’s not comprehending anything. At 8 a.m. it is far too early for Rob C. to be expected to think on his feet, and if you can’t think on your feet, then you might as well sleep on your desk. That’s exactly what he does.

His legendary lack of attentiveness isn’t limited to early morning class though. Oh no, you tell him what times the class starts and ends at, and he’ll tell you when his next nap will be.

Rob C. is afflicted with a vicious combination of insomnia and narcolepsy that produces some of the worst sleeping habits of all time. The only comparable sleeping habits would be that of a CN editor between Sunday night and Wednesday afternoon.

The various ways Rob C. goes about napping in class are particularly impressive. He’s a creature that is attracted to extremism, so he either sits in the front row or the back row of classes. When in the front row, he has no qualms about losing consciousness during a lecture, video or even a test. There’s nothing written on a syllabus that can defy him. He fears nothing.

It’s possible that you’ve seen him at work. The way it generally happens is his head will tilt to one side or it might bob back and forth as he fights off the fourth nap of the day (and that’s still before his 1 p.m. class starts). This is caused by the unnatural weight distribution in his head, which kind of resembles a light bulb or a picture that appears in the Op/Ed section of an award-winning college newspaper, such as this one.

This move might reek of disrespect, but really it’s accomplishing several goals that help the rest of the class in very diverse ways.

For instance, say the class is very interested in the subject matter, but this lecture in particular is becoming boring and ineffective. By not being able to keep his head up, Rob C. catches the professor’s attention and subtly informs him or her to spice it up a little.

On the other hand, if a class doesn’t care too much for the subject matter, Rob C. can still come to the rescue. All those Boler students taking Astronomy don’t care about whether or not the moon is made of cheese. Although, they might want to make sure the next Halley’s Comet isn’t tonight.

Rob C., completely zoned out during all class discussion for the last two weeks, finally irks the professor enough to get called on during class. Of course, he has no idea what the answer is and will respond with either his standard “Can you repeat the question?,” the befuddled “I don’t know,” or the once-in-a-semester shot of “Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.”

No matter which answer he says, the professor will usually consider him a lost cause and move on with class. That’s a win-win situation for everyone. The rest of the class got to sit back and be entertained, and Rob C. can get back to his nap without further interruption for the day.

As you can see, Rob C. is there for the students of JCU. He may seem like an apathetic body taking up the desk in the back corner, but he’s got your back just like the wall’s got the back of his head. So next time you’re thinking about waking him up, let him be, he’s just doing you a favor … unless the class just ended in which case wake him up, he has to go eat lunch.