Trouble with boredom - FamilyEducation
Trouble with boredom
01/29/2008 at 03:21 AM

I'm a 14 year old freshman who is bored in most of my classes. Some people may think that I'm just posting this in the gifted section to appease my ego, that is not true. I have taken half a dozen online IQ tests and all of them have come back somewhere between 133 and 145. I'm in a Geometry class where 5/8 of the class is taking it for the third time, and the teacher is moving at an extremely slow pace. I have talked to him but he won't help me go ahead. Also I'm in a Geography class where the teacher hates 9th graders (two other teachers told me this). This teacher is also moving at a pace that is way to slow for me, I know that I could learn everything that is in the book in less than a month. I'd get a B+ or higher on a test of the whole book. My Biology teacher doesn't really care about the class. I could do the same thing in this class as I could do in the Geography class. Right now I have a A+ in my honors English class, but even that is easy to get because we read books like Of Mice and Men. It is almost halfway through the third quarter and we are only on our third book. If anybody has any suggestions please post them. I'm very analytical, but not very creative.sorry if there are spelling errors, that is one of the few things that I'm not good at.

Hey pj 


  I'm a grandma, my oldest child is 30, my youngest is 10.  I've been dealing with academically gifted children ever since I was born.  My own children have a wide range of gifts including wide ranges in motivation. 

  When I was about seven years old (I'm sorry I started out that way, "Oh, when I was a child" , but it is the frame of reference I have), I heard a speaker say "Intelligent people are never bored."  What do you suppose he meant?


Spelling--There are two too many "tu"s to remember.


Hi Gail,

I understand what you mean by that, but it is really difficult to not be bored when you are having to atleast pretend to be interested while the teacher says stuff that you already know or you know is incorrect. If I don't try to pay attention to the teacher then the teacher has the right to suspend me.


See if this is what happens to you at school.  The teacher is explaining stuff that you already know, you are "listening", probably not taking notes because you already know these things.  You are restricted from doing the assignment during the lecture. 


That is exactly what happens, but there are several reasons for me not taking notes. I learn orally, we aren't allowed to write when the teacher is talking, and I already know the material.


You aren't allowed to take notes?   Really?   I've taken some education classes in college, and I don't understand that rule at all.


what we have to do is turn in our reading notes on the day of the test. Also, they have to be stamped each day by the teacher.


But no lecture notes?  OK, so, is there more lecture time or more  assignment time: working on projects, gathering data, researching for reports, discussion groups? 


We are suposedly discussing the section in the book, that is just the teacher lecturing and asking or answering a question once in a while. The teacher also gets into shouting matches with several students almost everyday. That takes up 1/4 of the class. The teacher has a point, the students just like to hear their own voices. They ask stupid questions that are way off topic. Then when the teacher gets frustrated with the students and stops answering questions about America when we are studying Africa, the students start acting like the teacher is being racist. This usually happens about 2/3 of the way through the period (57 min.) and those of us who actually want to learn know that the class is effictively over. We only get classwork on wensdays and days that the teacher doesen't want to teach.on wensdays we get blank maps to fill in from the textbook, and the few other days we just have to answer some questions that are in the textbook.


Man, that stinks.  I almost always had teachers who had the gravitas to retain an orderly classroom.  But I remember Mrs. Cram, 5th grade.  I only had her for about 1/2 hour a day, for art.  She would show coloring book pages on the overhead projector and we were supposed to draw the same thing.  And we would goof off because it was stupid, and she would yell at us and get all red in the face.

   Do you think it would be possible for some of you students to take a leadership role in the class?   I know there is a kind of social inertia, it is hard for a small group to change the way a whole group of students works.

  Another idea.

  One thing that worked for some groups I was working with was, we had sticky notes for "burning questions."   As discussion went forward if a question came up that the leader didn't want to address--off topic or they just didn't have the info., the person who posed the  question would write it on the post-it.   This way the questions were respected, and the discussion stayed on topic.  Then on Thursdays, all the post-its were up on the board, and everybody had to take home at least one, and find the answer or information.  The post-its that were left were saved in a dated envelope. On Fridays there were brief oral reports on what was learned (so if you were being lazy you could pick one you already knew).  The grading was 5 points in the participation part of the grade.  No matter if you just stood up and gave a definition you didn't even look up for a word that somebody had asked about, or if you spent 5 hours researching something and made a 5 minute really good presentation. 

  Would your teacher (if you copied that paragraph and printed it out)  be open to that as a suggestion?  I wouldn't tell my classmates about it at all.  Just talk to the teacher. You could just say that you came across it on the internet, not that you were complaining because the quality of your education is rotten.    

  Which it is.  I like the discussion idea, but the dynamic among the students and  between the students and the teacher is really lousy and really is a waste of all of your time.  I wouldn't be bored.  I would be ticked off. 

   I AM ticked off. 

  Oh, and spelling.  After the Norse God Odin, or Wodin, is Wednesday.  Three vowels and a covert d.  It sounds like "when's day?" But it is Wedne's day.  The day between Tui's day and Thor's day.   Talk about OFF THE SUBJECT!


I'll try that tomorrow, but I doubt that she will accept that. She doesn't like anything that takes away from classtime. Also the questions that are asked have nothing at all to do with Geography, at least I don't think that Jesus or who will be next president is on topic. The students just like listening to their own voices. The students who do this are C - F students.


I figured they didn't really care, but that way she wouldn't have to fight with them.  She could just acknowledge their question - "Oh, put that on a sticky note for later,"  and get on with her "discussion."  Let me know how it goes.


I was going to try and ask my teacher, but I was out sick for a couple of days. When I went back the class had done something that made her snap. We no longer have access to the class set of books we have to bring the books that the library gave us every day. We no longer do discussions. All we do now is sit silently and answer questions out of the book. She just yells at anyone who tries to talk, even if they need help. Also we are getting at least an hour, often more, of home work every day from just that period. On the bright side my Biology teacher has finally started teaching us.


Well, maybe at least you won't have to waste your time as much as you did.  It's too bad, because a good understanding of geography makes the news and politics and stuff like that make a whole lot more sense. 

  Keep us up to date on how things are going, OK?  You seem to manage your time well, when it is up to you.


I understand Geography fine, I'm only in that class because my mom and I moved just before the school year started so I got put in the only elective they had room in. As to the time manegment, I'm a major procrastinator. It doesn't help that I have learned that I write my best essays at two in the morning the day that they are due.


responding to the sleep problems:

A couple of things they told me about when my now 27-year old was about your age and not sleeping. (they did a brain study, her neurons fire very rapidly, which may contribute to her having ruminant thinking, her brain runs a million miles an hour at bed-time) 

Eliminate caffeine after noon.  Only lay down in your bed when you are relaxed and tired.  Dark room.  "White noise" which is a sound like a fan or a CD of ocean sounds (would that just make you feel like you were at work?)   For two hours or three hours before bedtime, no heavy exertion, nothing harder than a gentle meandering walk.  empty bladder.  some sort of routine when you are ready to get in bed.  Address anything that may cause anxiety well in advance (that eliminates the 2 a.m. essay sessions)  No thrilling entertainment--horror novels or horror movies are out. Find something boring to read--political speeches come to mind.  Or school board minutes, except they tend to make me mad. A starchy snack--like a bowl of cereal and milk, at least a half hour before you go to bed.

yoga relaxation techniques or other relaxation training is a good investment.  


I've tried motzart and other things like that, I just end up concentrating on them instead of the fly that is buzzing around the ceiling. I tried the reading, ended up 1/3 of the way through Moby Dick and it was time to get up to go school. I have also tried The Virginian, The Pilgrams Progress. I've even tried some of Dante's work, nothing like that works. The only thing that came close to working was Mere Christianity. I read the same line for about 10 minutes before I realised what I was doing so I switched books and started The Tristan Betrayal. That was a couple of years ago, since then my mom has said that I can't read before I go to sleep. That hasn't stopped me. I've tried food. I have also tried the hypnosis relaxation downlodes that are all over the internet. I will try the Yoga tomarrow. I can't stop doing the "2 a.m. essay sessions" because those essays consistently get 15-20 extra points, and on a hundred point essay that adds up. Also I have a essay due tomarrow.


I just discovered that when I get whomped good on the message boards, I have trouble falling asleep!

  Any of these strategies take about 10 days to see if they work.  I don't know about melatonin for teen-agers.  Benadryl is a strong antihistamine, and it can make you wired.  Chlorpheneramine maleate is milder, and I cut it in quarters or half for myself, that makes a 1 or 2 mg dose. Ask your pharmacist.


Back to the original subject. We did a test review in Geography today. The teacher is no longer going to give us reviews. We will just take the test. She says that we were playing around to much but the people who were playing around wern't as bad as they have been before. She has stopped even pretending to teach us. On another, but related, topic do you know anything about  Bard College at Simon's Rock or Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing. If know anything about these or other programs like them please let me know.


The "hidden curriculum" at almost every school includes the lesson that fair is a place with carnival rides, not a condition that exists in school, or work, or life. 

  So, at least she won't be wasting your time or her energy, I guess that is some sort of improvement. 

  I live in the west, don't have any info about those programs.  I vaguely remember my older kids getting college mail from Bard's College.  Are you going to do some sort of concurrent enrollment or summer program?


My mom heard about Bards from an aquatence who went there. It is a program specifically for early college entry. It gets all your highschool and first two years of college taken care of at once. It is kinda like a boarding school, except not. I was wondering if you knew about any other programs like that. If not I'll just take courses at the community college until I can get into one of the stat or UC colleges. Also I learned that life isn't fair a long time ago. I always have had at least one bad teacher (except for the years that I was homeschooled of course). On the bright side my Geometry teacher is tired of being embarresed by us on the District tests so he is teaching us finally. If you are interested I hope to get into UC Irvine, UC Merced, or UC Davis. They all have good engineering programs.


I have tried some breathing techniques that I got out of a book from the library. I have also been listening to some ocean sounds that I got online. Im still not sleeping. If you have any ohter suggestions they would be greatly appriciated.


It will be about 10 days before you see results.  Are you doing some kind of relaxation imagery thing?  breathe slowly in and as you breathe out slowly, pretend the sand is draining out of your fingers and toes, breathe in  slowly and out slowly and pretend the sand is draining out of your forearms, continue on with your calves, and work your way to your trunk, then do your neck and face.  Then just lay there and breathe slowly with an empty mind.  aaaaaahhhhhhhh.  Oh well, hope something works.


I've been doing breathing exercises faithfully each night since i last posted, no luck yet. I have also been getting more exercise during the day, and not having caffinated drinks at all. The wierd thing is that even though I haven't been getting to sleep earlier, but I have started waking up a 5 in the morning. I see what time it is and roll over and go back to sleep for another 1 1/2, but when it is time for me to get up at 6:30 I just don't wake up. Apperantly my mom comes in and wakes my up several times and I have had conversations with her but I have absolutely no memory of even waking up at these times, let alone what the conversations were about.


When are you getting your exercise?  If it is too close to bedtime, it will just keep you up.  Are you having any fun that isn't physical?  You seem to be such a focussed (oops, no, focused) kid.  Glad to hear from you, just sorry you still can't get rested.


All my exercise happens before dark. I read (Clive Cussler, Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, and Isaac Asimov to name a few authors), play games online, IM friends, stuff like that. I can be focused when I want to be, other times not so much. If something is interesting then I can fucos on it easily, also I like running (that is one of the main things that I do for exercise).


I've noticed with my own boy that too much pixellation within about an hour of bedtime can make drifting off more difficult.  He still does it, though.  He was just on the computer as I came in, it's 10:42 here and he has a paper route at 6:30 a.m. 


I'm usually reading a book before bed, not on the computer. As you can tell from the time that I'm posting this, 3:00am, (I thought it was 2, I just lost an hour) I'm still not sleeping. Something is wrong when you feel like you could go run a couple miles at three in the morning.


I'll be talking today with my daughter who struggled with falling asleep, we'll explore what actually worked.  She had brain imaging studies done by a neurological specialist which verified that sure enough, she had trouble falling asleep and her neurons fire really fast. Maybe you need to see a specialist or go to a sleep clinic. 

  I'll try to post something more useful after I talk to her.  Is school going any better?  Maybe you could sleep in class ;-}

Happy daylight savings. We all lost an hour!


My daughter said that sometimes this one worked.  visualize the number 100 coming toward you, passing in front of you, moving away, while you relax and breathe slowly.  Then do the same with 99, relax  as the double nines come toward you, pass you, move away,, then 98, 97, . . . 

I'm wondering if a hypnotherapist could help teach you some relaxation routines -- that was just an idle thought. 

We tried a little herbal stuff with my daughter.  I don't remember that they helped.  She remembers that chamomile tea is nasty, but I have another daughter who drinks it on purpose, she likes it. 


   Have you talked to a pharmacist about melatonin or about a really low dose of a milder antihistamine like chlorpheneramine maleate?  Maybe it is time for you to see a doctor. 

  I won't be online much the next couple of weeks. 


there, did that help?  I didn't think it would.  I'll be thinking of you.  Especially if I have trouble sleeping!


School is just getting worse, but I am going to be gone for three weeks soon (I'm going to Germany with 20 other students) so that will be good. I already sleep through most of my Biology class. I have a appointment with my doctor sometime next week. I have been trying a version of that number thing, it doesn't help me, all it does for me is give me something to concentrate on.


You should consider private school. There's tons of financial aid available, so don't let that put you off. A good school with teachers who actually care about your learning can change everything, and an environment with kids who like school but are involved in sports or drama or other things as well is great for giving you things to do and people to interact with so you don't get bored. It's worth thinking about.  


Actually after I get back from Germany I am going to be doing the home education thing. I am now getting to sleep easier, the doc prescribed Trazodone for me. Now my only problem is waking back up.