By: Shubham Saharan

Harkness tables are an essential part of the high school experience.  But in many ways they are some sick form of torture—forcing together a class full of students only to pit them against the clock and each other.  Fear not, as we at The Knightly News have come up with a foolproof system to make sure you ace every one of your Harkness tables.

  1. No better time to brown-nose

Let’s be honest, teachers don’t want to hear your opinions, they just want you to regurgitate whatever they think.  Always make sure to attribute anything smart you think of to them.  Regardless of whether or not it’s actually something that came out of their mouths, it’s sure to inflate their egos and score you a few extra brownie points.  Remember, no one successful got to where they are by working for it they just rode off the coattails of those more successful than them.

  1. Talk over everyone around you

When 15 of you are set against a 20 minute timer and expected to have at least three contributions each, it’s a free for all.  If someone takes up more than their 26.66 seconds of allocated time per contribution, it is your right, nay, your duty, to talk over them and get your opinion in there.  And, if that doesn’t shut them up, just keep talking louder and louder until they finally quiet down. Asserting your dominance is key in these situations.

  1. Fake news is still news

One thing has become overwhelmingly clear: it’s no longer about what you say, it’s about how you say it.  Consequently, feel free to go off the rails. Know that citing completely unbiased sources like Breitbart and Reddit posts totally count as factual citations.  After all, if your teacher expects you to substantiate everything, it’s more than likely that at least one thing you say will not really be based on something true. But it’s fine.

  1. Cockiness is just confidence in disguise

Half of people believing you is looking like you know what your doing.  It’s a pretty simple three step process. Be aggressive, ahem, assertive.  Talk like you don’t care what’s going on but you’re just gracing these peasants with your presence.  Last but not least, delegate the entire conversation. You alone have the authority to dictate who speaks when.

  1. Keep a tally of contributions

Harknesses are really just Hunger Games sitting down.  There can only be one victor. It’s every man for himself.  As such, you have to make sure you’re the one who makes the most contributions.  By keeping a running tally of who’s talked how many times, you can always make sure you’re on top.  May the odds be ever in your favor.

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