Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Finals! We don't need no stinkin' finals!

Blazing Saddles allusions aside, it is finals week this week, and yes, I do need some stinkin' finals. Three to be precise...well, two now. May I recommend to all of you readers buy stock in whatever brand of coffee you can find, because consumption of the stuff will be off the charts on university campuses across the country for the next two or three weeks.

My first finals week is most certainly an interesting beast. Better than I expected in some ways, worse in others, I'm not entirely sure what to make of it yet. In honor of my confused, bewildered feelings (do I have any other kind?) I have prepared for you not one, but TWO, count 'em, TWO lists on finals week.

Now, a housekeeping note. The first time I did a list (11 reasons Marquette is not Alaska) you all loved it; I think I set a new comment record. I love comments, so I made another one (a You Said What!?! list). That one got exactly...wait for it...ZERO comments. Ouch! That's like the anti-validation. The lesson here? If you like something - or even if you don't - a comment is greatly appreciated. I guarantee that that time you take writing it and the happiness it brings me are TOTALLY disproportionate. Okay...that was sort of pathetic...but I really need these comments, they get me through the week.

So, without further ado, your first list. In honor of having only four days until I go back to Alaska I give you:
Four Reasons I LOVE finals week
  1. Its a harbinger of things ending: I have few complaints about my classes this semester. Most of them were pretty good. But honestly, EVERY SINGLE PERSON at Marquette is pretty ready to get a new batch of professors, a new work load, a new schedule, and just a change of pace. Coming back and having new classes will make the return to campus in January much more exciting.
  2. Free Time: Finals week means no classes, which means more free time. Rather than having two or three hour-plus chunks of my day cut out for class, I only have one or two, two-hour (if that) blocks to attend. I've only got three finals...that translates to a whole lot of not being in class. Yes, there is study time and all that jazz, but the workload isn't really that bad.
  3. Schadenfreude: No matter how bad I have it, I can always find someone who has it worse. The nice thing about finals week is, anytime it seems like your life REALLY sucks all you have to do is look at the person at the next library table/desk/room to realize that they have it as bad, if not worse, than you.
  4. The "One and Done" mentality: Every time you finish a final, you know you NEVER have to deal with that class again. The idea that getting through one test will lead to a reprieve from that work forever is very liberating. This morning was vastly improved when I found realized that I never have to go to German 82 again.
With the good comes the bad. That's a proverb...or saying...or something. In order to give some yang to the last list's ying, here is:
Four Reasons I HATE finals week
  1. Free Time: Does this item look familiar? That's because it makes both lists. While I love having time to watch a movie ("Fight Club" last night) or just hang out, the specter of finals looms over all and somehow manages to destroy much of the joy of doing nothing. Rather than thinking: "Gee, isn't this relaxing," you can't help but think, "Gee, am I screwed tomorrow." Perhaps Laura Nelson put it best when she described finals as the elephant in everyone's room. I would add to this description: Finals is the elephant that knows the things you love most, then tramples them with his trunky elephant feet every time you start to enjoy them.
  2. Grades: So far, my biggest transition to college has been having finals that matter. In high school, if you worked hard all semester, the final didn't really matter; you could do poorly and still get a good final grade. I'm discovering that no matter how much you busted your butt in a college course, you still need to bust it a bit more for the final. This means more studying, which means more stress, which means more coffee, which means less sleep, which means more stress. Yeah, you get the idea.
  3. Studying: I never really studied per say in high school. Between material that wasn't usually that tough and not needing great finals grades, there was never a need to. Not so at Marquette. Studying doesn't sound too bad, but it is so much more exhausting then other forms of work. I spent four hours at the library yesterday reviewing my history notes and was EXHAUSTED afterwards. Ugh...
  4. The semester is over: This one is two fold. First, I love college and Marquette. I can't imagine going anywhere else. It is sort of depressing to think that I'm already 1/8th of the way done with my undergrad work. So many people point to college as one of the greatest periods of their life, and frankly, I can't imagine handling the real world yet. Secondly, there are so many things I wish I could have done this semester that will have to wait until January. I never went to the Art museum, Renaissance Book Store, sledding; never made a snowman, had a snowball fight, or went for a winter run. It's a bummer to think I will have to wait a whole month to tackle these goals.
So as I sit here with my coffee and avoid tackling that last History 1 study session you all get to enjoy the fruits of my procrastination. Only a little over 3 days until I go back to Alaska and I can't wait!

OneLost out...to go finish just TWO more finals.


Heather said...

Four reasons to be happy to come home to Alaska:

1. SNOW. We have lots of it, and the skiing is excellent right now. Kincaid today for skate...Alyeska tomorrow for downhill.

2. No Caf food. Enough said.

3. Hunting trips to Texas to murder innocent ducks.

4. And most importantly...seeing your amazingly cool big sister. And maybe your parents...but really they are optional, I'm not.

Good luck with the rest of finals. See you in a couple days!

Anonymous said...

chris.. Ive just realized.. ive missed u... I havent seen u in a week

and I just realized that we won't have our lil sessions at the Brew between classes.. damn.. one less hour to be ridiculed ... one more hour to actually get work done :)

Chris Frenier said...

To Heather: you best be getting good at skiing, b/c I will be kicking your butt in a just s few short days. Nordic on Sunday?

"Anonymous" (I think I have a solid idea of who you might be...)
I will stop by to say hi today...also, your governor just got arrest for selling a Senate seat. Is IL really THAT much better than AK?

Heather said...

Chris -
I'm getting better...I wouldn't say good yet. Though I haven't fallen at all on my skate skis this year, which as you know is remarkable improvement. Sunday is soccer day...you interested in subbing for EA maybe?

Nordic Saturday?

Caroline said...

Ahahaha this post is hilarious but mostly it rings so true. "Finals is the elephant that knows the things you love most, then tramples them with his trunky elephant feet every time you start to enjoy them."
I completely agree. The other elephant in the room these days is housing- I dont know about you but our housing selection for next year happens in January and its like an unspoken, giant elephant. good luck on your finals though!

Anonymous said...

chris. why do you even have a blog.

Mallory J. said...

love the lists.
and having your blog to read when i dont want to study for finals.
although does that mean the elephant tramples your blog....?

Anonymous said...

Chris .... hope you still plan to take German next term, despite how hard you had to work this one. And glad you are having to work so dang hard in your classes - good to have that challenge. You are right that it is a totally different world.

Your mom told me about the blog, so I check it now and again ... it sounds like you have landed at just the right school for you.

Frau D.

Anonymous said...

this is Heather's friend from Alaska, Matt. Could you please go to the safehouse for me? Good times! I hope you have been there

Chris Frenier said...

By way of responding to comments (which I figure I ought to do if I shamelessly pander for them).

To Heather (pt II): no skiing on saturday, though once I get my skis prepped count on me kicking your butt again.

To Caroline: I was quite proud of the metaphor. I thought to myself "what kind of feet do elephants have?" and for some reason trunky just seemed to fit. It helps w/the smashing imagery too.

Anonymous One (the one after Caroline): My answer to you depends on who you are...mostly because I'm self absorbed.

Mallory: At times, yes, the elephant does trample my blog. Like this week. It did a good job at that b/c everytime I sat down to write he made me think of all the better things I could be doing w/my time to get ready.

Frau D.: I will probably be at SAHS on Monday. I will plan on stopping by to say hi.

Matt: How do you know about the safehouse? I haven't been there yet, but my roommate has and it is on the official restaurant list that is posted to my desk. If you are from the area, do you know Real Chili. Real Chili makes me very happy.

Anonymous said...

Ha you had better be there .... they announced on the intercom today that you will be there at lunch to talk about Marquette on Monday ....

Again .. Frau D who is too lazy to get a user i.d. on here....

Bis bald ... und schönen ersten Abend wieder zu Hause....

Kelley Bruce Robinson said...

Schadenfreude - I liked this one.