Countdown to Graduation

Countdown to Graduation
One senior scrambles to cram in all things Carolina before heading out into the real world.

posted 5/6/2009

Exam Time

I've been slack on the blog updates lately, and I apologize. I blame it on exam time. Ah, exam time, those aren't really fond memories, but they are memories nonetheless. As you might remember, I only have two real classes (I guess I'll stop counting ultimate Frisbee as a class), so it shouldn't seem that I would spend much time studying. Well, that wasn't the case. It could be because I like to combine my studying with facebooking, chatting, twittering, and freaking myself out by scouring the Internet for nonexistent jobs, OR it could be that I just like to be thorough when I study, I'll keep the answer to that one a mystery.

Exam time really is like living in an alternate universe. I lose track of days, lose track of when I've eaten and lose track of what's an acceptable outfit to wear (who really does laundry during exam time?) Both my teachers allowed us to have cheat sheets for our exams, so I can't say I was too stressed out. Really, the issue was just working on the cheat sheets. I've never gotten too stressed out about exams anyways. I usually get such consistent grades that my final won't actually affect my overall class grade in a major way. In fact, one of my exam time habits is to figure out the lowest grade I can get on my final while still getting an A or B in the class. That's not because I don't want to study or try hard, it just lowers my stress level. Really, the biggest problem is all the students around me at the library who are freaking out. I just assume most of these people are underclassmen and while they're frantically re-reading every page of their Biology book, I have the urge to gently pry their hands away and tell them to rest their glassy eyes and everything will be okay. I'd probably get my hand bitten off, so I usually just try to ignore them and not let their occasional bursts of panic annoy me too much.

My first exam (not counting my Frisbee one which entailed writing my name on a piece of paper) was for my Film and Culture class. This one was great because my studying consisted of reading and plot summaries of the movies we'd watched. Plus, she allowed us one sheet of paper where we could write down the names, directors and actors of all the movies. Unfortunately, when it comes to movies and books, I have the memory of an ant (I can get halfway through a movie without realizing that I've seen it before). It wasn't really possible for me to re-watch every movie, so I was hoping I could remember enough to sound somewhat intelligent about the movies. I'm not sure I reached that goal, but I ended up with an A- in the class, so I can't complain too much.

My next exam was the one I worked the most on and it was Saturday afternoon. A couple of people outside of the university community expressed their surprise that we would have exams on a Saturday. I told them I'd never really thought about it that way. When you can't remember what day it is, it doesn't make much difference when your exams are. The exam was for my Politics of Sexuality class, a.k.a the class that gets me worked up and angry about the inequalities of the justice system every day. That's the kind of class your roommates and friends wish you wouldn't take, so they don't have to hear you talk about it and spout off words like "heteronormativity" on a daily basis. Our professor gave us nine essay questions and told us she'd give us four of these on the test, and we'd have to answer three. Because I did have a lot of time to study, I decided I'd try to completely write out eight of the essays. It took me three days, but I did just that. That was probably the most time I've spent studying for any test, but when I finished the essays it was over. I didn't have to worry about studying up until the day of the final because our professor let us bring in anything (books, computers, notes) to the test that we wanted. The only catch was that we had to write our answers down in a blue book. Unfortunately, one of the essays she picked was the one I didn't write, so I didn't have a choice of picking the ones I felt strongest about. And even though I had already written out the essays, it still took me two hours to finish. Towards the end, I seriously thought my hand was going to cramp to the point where it wouldn't work anymore. Right after I left the exam, I texted my friend an indiscernible text because my fingers wouldn't work right. She then expressed concern that I had fallen off the deep end and decided to drink before my exam and was sending her a drunk text.

I didn't have much time to think about the fact that my college career had essentially ended right when I left that room. My parents were on the way from Wilmington to pick me up for the Bruce Springsteen concert in Greensboro. I was much more excited about that than the prospect of never having exam time again. Now, I've had time to both think about the greatness of the Bruce concert and being done with college. And since I have all this free time with no class, I'll be sure to blog about it soon.

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