Two Hundred.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

This is my 200th blogpost. 

With that being said, it feels appropriate that I am blogging about being DONE with this semester and being HOME for Christmas since that is a pretty big accomplishment too.

I did not blog at all last week, mainly because basically, finals controlled my life. But now I am at home, sipping cider from a Christmas mug, and watching football with my Dad.

Let's go back to finals week for a minute, so I can let you relive how I managed to make it through 5 in-class exams as well as pack up my entire room and make the trek back to Dinuba. Here is a play-by-pay of how my week played out.


Greek review session to start study day off right. Found myself in library after a quick lunch (this would prove to be a repeating pattern come the rest of the week) where I crammed for my Conflict and Reconciliation final that was the next morning, as well as kept reviewing Greek and finished some take-home work for that final. I was beginning to see just how depressing this week would be. Finally, after about 7 hours in the library, found my way back to my room where my roommate and I had a sad conversation about how much we hated finals and wanted this week to be over. Then, surprise cereal study break in the C Lounge where I ate my body weight in sugary cereal, and continued to study my brains out for the remainder of the night.


8am conflict and reconciliation final. Took just about the two full hours, thanks to not one, but TWO full length essays, short answer questions, and a full multiple choice/short answer portion. Loved the class, not so much the teacher. Anyway, I was sad to see that class end, but one final was down and there was only four left. Found myself in the library again, where I spent the rest of the day studying for Greek the next morning. Locked myself in a whiteboard room and crammed. Did a bit of Comm Research, although I didn't want to do anything for that class after the lousy semester we had. Regardless, Greek had higher priority, so it was that for the night. Also discovered the library serves free coffee after 7pm - which came in handy for the rest of the week.


12pm Greek final. Love the class, so sad to see it end. Fun fact, my really RESPONSIBLE teacher (who I appreciate so much for keeping the class organized, on track, never e-mails us last-minute assignments, and is a really, really good teacher) already graded our finals and has our final class grades on Eureka! Therefore, I end Greek with a 92%, and a B+ on the final. Job well done. I'm so thankful to see that at least some professors take advantage of the "grading" portion of Eureka that helps us students stay on track. Library for the rest of the day studying for Com. Research and New Testament, as well as a bit of review for my Orientation to Istanbul final. Quiet night, but the library passed out free late night donuts - which was a lovely encouragement.


Worst day of finals. Worst day of the year. Why, you ask? Two words. Communication Research. It's an understatement to say I didn't like this class. I don't want to describe it as terrible, so I have stuck with "frustrating." That's the way I felt the entire semester, that's the way I felt about every aspect of the class, and that's how I felt about the final.

This is where the venting begins. I considered writing an entire blog about this, but I figured there might be students who will have to take this class in the future, and although I would advise them to take it with a different professor, perhaps our semester was just different. Or...not. 

It's the one class I've ever had to take where I feel as though I am being more responsible than the teacher. And to be honest? That's a completely true statement. The final took me two and half hours (where a normal final should not exceed two) not because it was difficult, but because my lovely professor decided that it would be a great idea to include running statistical tests on data which involved using computer lab computers. Oh yes - let's test our students on something we spent two days of this entire semester on. Oh, one of those days was the day before Thanksgiving when a good majority of our class was missing? No worries, I'll just let them figure it out on their own - I'm already too far behind in the syllabus to use a day to review. I gave up halfway through, told my professor I don't have time to deal with this, and left. I was literally at the point of breaking down into tears during the final because I was so frustrated. I wanted to yell at my professor for making us do this. After talking to some students afterwards, they were just as lost, and just as frustrated as I was. I don't care if I failed the final. I don't care if I failed this class. I hated this class. I don't care if I have to take it over, just let me take it with another professor. I will gladly sit through another semester, as long as I don't have to sit through last minute emails, vague lectures, unorganized classes, late-grading (because receiving all of our assignments from the semester on the last day of class is a wonderful parting gift. Oh, I didn't get a good grade on that assignment? Wish I knew that the week after I turned it in, rather than two months after I turned it in), and a teaching method that doesn't even get us through the entire scheduled syllabus. I will sit through another semester, but I will not tolerate another semester like this one.

Venting ends here.

Regardless, this final put me in a horrible mood for the rest of the day, and thanks to the long exam period, I had half an hour before my fourth (and purely writing) exam that drew my last bit of energy out. I wanted to cry. I wanted to curl up into my bed and sleep forever. I hated it. But alas, I had one more final the next morning, so I took out my anger and frustration through packing up my room and laying on my floor eating junk food, visiting the study one more time and then sitting at the library for the last night studying for the LAST EXAM.


Last day of finals. 8am New Testament exam. I love Dr. Reeder, and I'm so sad I won't be able to see her next semester. She is an inspiring teacher, and I love the way she structured our final exam. No multiple choice, no true/false - 5 short answer questions and a full length essay on our interpretation of various New Testament texts based on the entire semester. I love writing, I loved this exam. And as I finished my last sentence, my heart jumped - my breathing quickened, and I knew I WAS DONE. I turned in the exam, said goodbye to Dr. Reeder as she wished me safe travels for next semester and walked out of Winter Hall with my head held high. Finals, were OVER!

I packed up the rest of my room, said goodbyes to friends, and headed home. Upon arrival, I laid on my couch and just soaked in the feeling I was experiencing. The feeling of finishing five in-class exams, and being done with an 18 unit semester. I was finished, I never had to do a Greek-to-English translation assignment again, I never had to read a chapter of the New Testament in Antiquity again, I never had to open up my email Thursday morning and realize my Com. Research professor had sent us a multitude of last-minute emails for that morning's class, I WAS FINISHED - and nothing was going to stop me from sitting on my couch and being lazy.

So that's what I've been doing this weekend - recuperating after a tough finals week, and relaxing. My mom and I decorated the house for Christmas, my brother comes home on Thursday, and all is good. I'm wrapping presents this afternoon, then watching movies tonight and going to an ugly christmas sweater party tomorrow.

I'm so glad this semester is over. I pray I'll never have to take 18+ units again, because I had no social life this semester and I apologize to friends who I didn't get a chance to hang out because of my heavy academic schedule. I'd say we can hang out in the spring, but I'm going to be running around the middle east having the adventure of the lifetime, so I guess I will see all of you westmonsters come next fall.

So now that I have a tough semester behind me and the holidays to come, let Christmas break, BEGIN!

Respectfully submitted,