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Midterm Recap

OK it’s eighth week. Oh how I wish it was ninth week. In UCLA undergrad parlance, the week numbers refer to the 10 week academic quarter. Each week has certain characteristics associated with it. First through third weeks are associated with laziness. Fifth week is when most midterms are administered, so fifth and fourth weeks are associated with disillusionment, procrastination and stress. That also means sixth week is associated with despair and hopelessness, as grades are returned. Seventh, eighth and ninth weeks see a return to a bohemian laziness, made more potent due to the burnout factor and mounting anticipation of the post-quarter break from school. And with week 10 a sense of stress compounded by sleep-deprived insanity fills the psyche, due of course to final exams. It’s interesting to note the cyclic nature of emotions that the exams, and the grades, inspire.

Well, I exaggerate. I never feel worthless for doing bad on my exams. Angry, maybe, that I’m being tested on arcane material that is completely orthogonal to any true intelligence (as if I know what that is) or creativity or useful skill. But anyway, digressing digressing digressing. It’s eighth week. I had my fourth of four midterms last Wednesday. (See 7↓ 7↑) Despair, hopelessness, loss, worthlessness, anger, sadness, depression… are not how I feel today. My friends, I killed my midterms. Bloody slaughter and murder. So when I say I wish it was ninth week, all I mean is that I wish this quarter was closer to being done. I don’t fear exams! MWGHaHahahahahahahaha!!!!!! I will now proceed to gloat for you.

First midterm, week 5, Tuesday. AKA day after Halloween. Yeah, what a drag (and i’m not referring to the queen variety). No worries though. The midterm was for physical science 5, diet and nutrition. It’s amazing that such a class is even offered at UCLA. But then again, they need some way to legitimize the income generated by student-athletes (iced!!). I studied for this bad boy for about an hour, which was an hour too long. The test was easy, but the mindless heathens in that class disagreed, and were allegedly cheating blatantly, and the professor voided the midterm entirely. Wow. So I indeed studied too long for that one. Trust me, I’ve since learned my lesson.

Midterm two, week 5, Wednesday. AKA day after my first midterm. School of Arts and Architecture 10, Arts Encounters. Another class that can be described in the same was as Phy Sci 5: school for doldrums. I reviewed my few notes on the 25 minute bus ride to school. But this midterm was a tricky one. He asked questions like which of the following did he not say about Frank Lloyd Wright: a) he’s arrogant, b) he’s a genius, c) he’s egotistical, d) he’s conceited. Correct answer was d. All meticulous lecture based material. Anyway, I faired OK, considering I’m an hour late to each of the two-hour lectures. My grade on that “exam”: B-. Whee. So close to a C! Thank goodness they had added three points to each exam score. Why? Exam for doldrums. And people that rise (or fall) to meet their expectations.

Midterm three, week 5, Friday. AKA day before Saturday. This was for Communication Studies 115, Dyadic Communication and Interpersonal Relationships. I reviewed my notes during the discussion section I had prior to the exam. Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for that because we had to draw self-portraits of ourselves in that discussion section. Yeah. I took it as seriously as possible, but I still felt like I was in kindergarten. Back in those days kids might have drawn themselves as heroes or princesses or something, but today some of my peers drew stick figures of themselves in Benz’s. Scored 25/30. Of course they added three points to this exam too.

Midterm 4, week 7, Wednesday. AKA Wednesday, week 7, midterm 4. Political Science 166, Government Institutions—my hard class. Also had a take home essay with this one due the day of the final. That assignment was distributed the first day of class. Yeah a seven week long midterm. The midterm exam proper was scheduled for 2pm. I started the essay at 9:30am. Got to class 6 minutes late. That means i had negative six minutes to study. Judging by the distribution of scores, the exam was pretty challenging. Out of 40 points, 2 got 38, 11 got 30-37, 26 got 20-29, 19 got 15-19, 12 got 10-14, and 2 got less than 10. The median was 21. I got 31. BAM! Wow, is this a professor that actually challenges his students? No. He offered a repeat of the exam for anyone who wished to retake it. Different material? No. Different format? No. Each question would be slightly tweaked but testing the same concepts in the same way.

All of these midterms were multiple choice. Sad. Professors have no time to grade exams that really judge intelligence, such as essay exams, or personal interview. Personal interview would certainly reveal the fraudulent level of aptitude in the material that I possess. Even then, when I’ve had those in the past, I’ve basically applied the “dumptruck effect”, so-named by my 10th grade history teacher, in which the student regurgitates as much as he recalls in an attempt to cover all the points. Only my 10th grade teacher had it wrong. She claimed that the dumptruck effect yielded poor scores because graders could detect the tomfoolery. But I’ve found that it actually yields pretty high scores. Bad in theory, great in practice. School doesn’t teach you critical thinking nor facts; it teaches you how to take exams.

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Commenting options at bottom.
Unknown said:

Kamusta na!

Mike McG said:

Hahaha nice email address, Steve. “@4am.com” !?! That’s the hour of insanity for you.

l33tpwner said:

your eloquent flow to your blogs is quite a treat to read….and me trying to sound intellectual is really lame

Mike McG said:

Thanks geepster but, what are you talk about?! Surely you jest. I try talk good, some people eloquent they think it is. Others think “Stupid boy!” But in truth, words of anyone not can be called lame if earnestness be where them’s words born.

Boy, now I catch eloquent flow!!

Natalie said:

MIKE! How dare you refer to Phy Sci 5 as “school for doldrums”? I found this class to be truly insightful and life altering. Phy Sci 5 taught me the disasterous health consequences that shall ensue decisions to make late night in-n-out runs. I mean, come on! Has it not encouraged you to make low-fat egg mcmuffins complete with Trader Joe’s low-fat english muffins, omega-3 fatty acid enhanced eggs, low-fat cheese and no butter? Has it not persuaded you to “borrow” my dvd of Billy Bank’s Tae Bo? Has it not been the backing behind your daily breakfast of banana/splenda filled irish oatmeal? Wouldn’t you say that this class has made your bowel movements more regular so that perhaps one day you too will follow the path of our evermost delightful Palms co-resident “Walk Star”???? (For those of you who don’t know “Walk Star”, please do encourage Mike to blog about him……..I love that dude.)

Besides…….”gloat[ing]” is unbecoming in a young lad such as yourself……and…… that midterm was hard for us regular folks.

OK, that’s enough………I’m off to drink the “anitoxidant filled blueberry juice” you just handed to me. I rest my case.

Mike McG said:

Good examples. But, hey, I never said I WASN’T a doldrum. BOOM! I win! =)


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