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  #1  
Old 09-17-04, 12:37 AM
Eve Eve is offline
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Loosing focus in class

When I am in class I usually look at the teacher and try to follow what he/she is saying. But generally I loose focus and don't get it. Those proffesors move along quickly. After hours of reading and rereading, over and over I usually finaly get it. Sometimes I need help from an outside source.

Whether you have ADD or ADHD, and are medicated or not; While in school can you pay attention and clearly follow what the teacher is saying? Or do you get distracted and fiddle around a lot?
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Old 09-17-04, 01:05 AM
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Well, I tended to hyperfocus in school... I guess that is partially why I didn't get diagnosed until I decided to see about it this year.

What I did in school, though, was take VERY careful notes. I never ended up referring back to them later, but I didn't really need to. The act of taking notes kept me focused. If I didn't understand something right then and there, I would immediately ask a question... if after 2 or so questions, I still didn't understand, I'd check in with the prof immediately after class and get it clarified.

I would also suggest a study group. You mentioned needing help from an outside source... well, that's a good one. I used to run a lunchtime study group for one of my upper level courses, actually.
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Old 09-21-04, 12:41 AM
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I've been on both ends of the spectrum, from failing classes because I can't pay attention to pulling good enough grades to be finishing a degree with Honours this year. And I'm not medicated yet; I was diagnosed by a psychologist in June this year, but I'm in Canada and unless I want to drop $300 an hour for personal psychiatry, I have to wait for the medical system to get me an appointment.

Anyway, my point. The single best way I've found to pay attention in class is to not pay attention. But pay attention. It's difficult to describe. In class, I'll be staring at my desk, doodling, jotting the occasional note, looking at the pictures on the wall, looking out the window. It irked a couple of my profs until they'd ask a question, and my hand would snap up, and I'd give an intelligent response. Clearly I was paying attention, even though it didn't look like it.

Basically, I find that if my hands and eyes are busy doing something mindless, my brain is free to latch on to whatever else is around, my ears, or yank my eyes for a second to catch something the prof's writing, and get some work done while another part of it gleefully putters around doodling blobs on my paper. I do the same thing all the time; I tend to write 20+ page papers in 3 days or so, because I spend a great deal of time while I'm seemingly doing nothing, playing on the computer and watching TV (or posting on boards), where half of my brain is running over my notes and ideas and collating everything in the background. This lets me then sit down, and when I finally crack through my mental inertia I can mentally vomit out an almost complete paper.

Of course, YMMV. But I'm convinced that the whole multitasking, multiple-track-mind thing is a feature of ADHD, if you can get ahold of it somehow. The problem is you usually have 5 or 6 bits doing useless junk. If you can bundle a couple of those into something useful while letting the rest roam free, you can get a surprising amount of 'work' done while appearing to be doing nothing.
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Old 09-24-04, 12:57 AM
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Thanks those are good suggestions. You deffinatly have an interesting concept Alex. I know you're right about focusing but not focusing. I think there's rough times and better times when it comes to learning and studying. It seems like if you put more pressure on yourself, let yourself get overwhelmed or are stressed out it doesn't work out too well.
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Old 09-30-04, 03:35 PM
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I have sometimes issues with it, although it's getting a lot better since I like the course. If I get lost, I usually ask, and the prof is pretty cool about clarifying.

What helps me from getting lost is having the syllabus with lecture topic schedule there...

I also notice that profs give an outline of the lecture at the beginning of the class, and I make sure I refer to that when I start to get lost...

I sometimes have a large sticky note pad beside me where I make an outline as I go along, so I can refer to it if I get lost. It's my "map".

If you're comfortable doing so, you can approach your prof and just mention that you have trouble following, and if he/she could write up an outline on one of the side boards at the beginning of the class....?

If all else fails, see if you can get accommodations through the disability student centre for lecture note outlines, a tutor, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 10-04-04, 12:18 AM
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Slowpoke's got a good point. Take courses you're interested in. This goes for absolutely everyone, but double for AD/HD sufferers. If you're taking courses in something that bores you now, then all you're doing is spending 3-4 years (or more) training to do a job that will bore you for the rest of your life. And, frankly, a BA or BSc will get you very little in the job market, even a Masters degree isn't significant these days. If you just want a secure job making money, forget university. Go to community college, and train to become a tradesman, a plumber, electrician, or some such thing. If money's your prime objective, those are better places to be these days than university in basically any field, unless you're going for a doctorate degree. And even then, it's questionable. Where I live, doctors just out of med school make about $80-$90,000 a year. A plumber, on the other hand, makes $60-$80,000. And the plumber has 2 years of college, followed by 5 years apprenticing and making $40-$50,000, where the doctor has 7-8 years of university, and likely makes little or nothing during that time.

Net after 8 years; doctor's made $80,000, but paid for 7 years of university. Plumber's made $200,000, and is probably putting down the downpayment on his house, where the doctor has only made a big dent in his student debt. And the doctor will work harder.

The money's in trades these days. Only attend university if there's something you really, really enjoy. I'm not trying to tell people not to attend, it's one of the best things you can do for yourself. But too many attend to just get a degree in something, and end up wasting a lot of money and time. I know I wasted 3 years in university before I figured out what I wanted to do. And my GPA went from 1.05 my first year to currently 3.45, in my final year of Honours in History. And I wouldn't be able to get those grades if I didn't love history.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:27 PM
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OMG, when I'm not on meds it's very hard for me to focus. The longer the class is,the harder and worse my ADD. Community college was easier and more flexible but now I'm at Temple U. Big lecture halls, lots of people, powerpoint slides over and over and over again. And when they basicly read the text to you it makes concentration extremely difficult.

I make sure I look over study techniques and note taking strategies so even if lets so it's a crazy morning and oops I forgot my little blue pill at least I have the skills and knowledge to attempt retaining SOMETHING from that day's lecture. I also find that if I fidget around, it helps me to talk in class...about something relevant to what the class is learning of course and keep raising my hand with questions. This helps me because 1) when I talk, I talk with my hands....movement! 2) asking questions=interaction=motivations....I have your attention!!

ET
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