It’s my lucky day

According to the original syllabus for my Health Communications class, we had a test today.

Now, this class is last on my priority list.  I’m only in it because I need four more credits to finish my minor and didn’t want to take the other option offered at 8 AM.  When it comes to homework, I’ll do everything for every other class before I so much as glance at Health Comm.  In fact, I care so little about this class that I made a decision before the semester even started that I wasn’t going to read the textbook.  (Which is out of character for me.  But with my work load, I need to prioritize.)

The good thing about the course is that the professor is extremely laid back.  He’s been reading a lot about new teaching methods and has taken on our class as his guinea pigs.  Instead of lecturing, he split us into groups, divvied up the textbook, and made us present the chapters to the class.  We covered a massive textbook in three weeks.

And now, it’s test time.

Last week, though, the professor had different idea.  On a whim, he pushed the test back to this Thursday and gave us a new assignment.  Once again, he split us into groups and gave us the guidelines for the test: “200 multiple choice, 50 short answers, 15 essay questions, worth 75% of grade”.  (Yes, I know.  These demands are RIDICULOUS.)  In our groups, we had to write an official policy brief explaining the problems with this exam and come up with a better option.

In class today, all the groups presented our briefs.  Many different options were suggested–shortening the test, having the class write it, a take-home option, and one group even proposed an individual oral exam.

At the end of the presentations, we all sat there anxiously.  “Please let it be a take-home test“, I prayed.  “I don’t have time to memorize nine chapters that I didn’t read.”

Then, the unthinkable happened.

The professor got up and told us that he really doesn’t care about testing and that we will better demonstrate knowing the material through applying it in the already-assigned upcoming projects.

I couldn’t believe my ears.  NO TEST.  An enormous weight was suddenly gone.

Now, I actually have time to get all my assigned reading done this week.  I actually have time to write my first big essay for my senior seminar.  I actually have time to step back, relax, and care for my mental health.

I can’t believe my luck.

Finals have arrived

Last night, I had a dream I met Barack Obama.  I’m taking this as a sign that finals will go well.

After a wonderful weekend of hanging out with friends, studying, and praising Jesus, it’s time to tackle those tests.  The next couple days are going to be busy.  With extra library shifts, study sessions, exams, packing for break, and saying goodbye to friends who won’t be here next semester, I’m expecting the time to pass quickly.

What have I got in terms of tests?

Today I take my Visual Journalism final.  It shouldn’t be too bad.  It’s open book, open note because the professor never talked about any of the assigned readings in class.  Half the test will be on these readings and the other half will be activity-based.  We will be given a story prompt and will have to describe how we go out and capture it.  Studying for this involves organizing all the information available and knowing where to find things.

Tomorrow is the Grammar & Language final.  This is probably the hardest test I’ve had thus far in college.  We’ll be tested on the complete history of the English language, tracing the phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon from Old, Middle, Early Modern, Modern, to present day English.  It’s a LOT of information.  I started studying last Thursday and have been nosing my way into various study groups with classmates.  It’ll be challenging, but I think it will go well.

That’s it!  Two exams stand between me and a month off.  Let’s do this.

If you’re in the midst of finals right now, best of luck!  What are some of your coping mechanisms?

Riding the stress wave of midterms

Midterms are quickly approaching.  And I find myself riding the wave of tension and stress that always rolls around this time of year.

Here’s what I’ve got standing between me and Fall Break (which is next Friday):

  • 3 page literary criticism response paper for Victorian Lit
  • Photo essay project for Visual Journalism
  • My final speech for Public Speaking, in which I will tirade about how awful Twilight is
  • Midterm for Visual Journalism
  • Midterm for Grammar and Language
  • 6-8 page paper for Victorian Literature
  • 15 minute presentation on some British marriage laws for Victorian Lit

Already this week I’ve written most of the response, begun searching articles for the presentation, and took a quiz for G&L (not mentioned on the list ’cause it’s already been taken).

Excuse me while I spend my night de-stressing over the most recent episode of Downton Abbey.  ‘Cause I’m going to be hitting the books hard this weekend and need to relax somehow!

Do you have anything stressing you out, readers?  What is your favorite way of relaxing?  Answer in comments!

You (yes, you) have been tested

Here’s a confession:

The other day, it was raining outside for the first time in months.  So I sat down, opened WordPress, and wrote an impromptu poem about it.  I knew the poem wasn’t going to be anything special, or even any good, but I published it anyway.

Why?

I’ve been thinking a great deal about blogging lately–what a blog looks like, how they’re read, how to approach writing them, etc.

Something I noticed was that certain styles of posts and certain subjects bring in more new followers than others.  To test this theory, as I watched my roommates giddily prancing about in the downpour, I composed a series of lines and published them on the spot.

What were the results?

Well, my experiment was a successful one, leading to several new followers.  It’s tempting to take this triumph and run with it, to begin a long stint of crappy on-the-spot poems for the sake of drawing in hoards of readers.

However, in light of the fact that a blogging career of poorly written dribble does not sound appealing, enjoyable, and does not market what I’m capable of… I’m not going to bother.