Rather than pay attention to the professor my brain is following random tangents. For instance there are a lot of ways to respond to a question asked by the professor, and they all indicate something different. For example:
Entire arm extended and impression of rigor mortis (flagpole position): I would like to answer the question.
Mad waving accompanied by excited vocalizations: I am a second grader who has infiltrated this university level course because I would really like to answer the question.
Hand shot into the air with a force sufficient to launch arm into orbit: I know the answer and I would like everyone to be aware of that
Hand up, elbow propped on desk (half-mast position): I am waiting to be called on, and it is a long wait.
Arm draped across top of head, hand stubbornly raised: You can pretend you don’t see me as long as you want but I will outwait you.
Arm flat on desk, hand or fingers raised: I know the answer but I have no vested interest in providing it.
Arm close to body, hand by face: I timidly proffer an answer or I am telling secrets.
Arm up, one finger raised: I would like to insert a comment or I inform you that you are ‘number one.’
Elbow propped on desk, hand loose and in front of face (stealth postion): I am attempting not to attract attention by blending with the herd. If I remain motionless you can’t see me.
Hands folded under chin: I am attempting to look thoughtful because I do not know the answer and I am praying that you will pick someone else.
Hand up at diagonal angle, wrist rotated: Sorry, I was just stretching.
Hand open, fingers flexed: I am confident.
Hand open, fingers curled: I am unconfident.
Hand closed, fingers curled: I am preparing to punch you.
Eye contact, no hand: I am prepared to answer the question.
Eyes on notes and/or desktop: I am pretending to study because I am not prepared to answer the question.
Eyes closed: I am not prepared to answer the question because I am asleep.
Abrupt departure from room: I would not like to answer the question.