December 6, 2006 Exams. Just the thought of them strikes fear into the hearts of many. We all respond to the anxiety of exams in different ways. Some of us will lock ourselves in our rooms, feeding on Easy Mac, cereal and crackers. Others might opt for the library, so that they can make the short trip to Commons for a bite to eat. I’ll probably spring for some combination of locations. I’ve found that I simply can’t study in the same place for too long. Often, though, it can be difficult just to find a place to study. During exams, every available study space on campus is usually occupied between the early afternoon until around midnight.
Luckily, there are a variety of groups on campus that help to alleviate the tension caused by exams, most commonly in the form of the "study break." Many groups offer study breaks, serving coffee, cookies and soda. Cultural clubs are a bit more creative. The German Club, for example, will be having its study break this Sunday, where they will play German holiday music and serve German cookies and cake, tea, coffee and hot chocolate. The library also offers daily breaks. In addition, starting last Sunday, the library stays open 24 hours a day until the end of exams.
Professors are also very accommodating during the exam period. Most offer extended office hours and host review sessions. My Economic Statistics professor will be coming in Sunday night to hold a review session, and he promised to bring goodies in case we need to “work into the night,” as he put it. The Hamilton Jazz Archive also extended its hours of operation to help students with term papers. Just yesterday, I visited the archive to get some information on rhythm guitarist Freddie Green. Monk Rowe, who operates the archive, was very helpful. He got me everything I needed, including several recordings, a book and an actual interview that he conducted with another famous jazz guitarist – Bucky Pizzarelli – in which they discussed Freddie Green.
Today I will attend my last Spanish and History of Jazz classes for the semester, and tomorrow, my last Macroeconomics and Econ Stats classes. You have no idea how good it feels to say that. And, my exam schedule really isn’t all that bad. They are nicely spread throughout the week: one on Tuesday, one on Thursday, and one on Friday. That’s basically ideal. I’ve heard of students who’ve had two sit-down exams and a term paper due on the same day. So, I really can’t complain.