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Papers vs. Exams

So there are people who would argue that there is a division between the arts and humanities on the one side and the sciences on the other.

Heck with them.

The true divide in disciplines is between the people who spent college writing papers and the people who spent college studying for exams.

(Of course, while I say “spent college” it’s worth remembering that much of this activity occurs in a few isolated frantic, panicked nights. Or over a few days for people who are, like, super-organized.)

This is an important difference—a vast and insurmountable cultural gulf. One that I am clearly on the right side of. That is to say, the side that has it harder. That is to say, the side that gets to righteously complain.

Oh, you English majors going around being relaxed on finals week. We in the sciences curse you. Sometimes to your faces. You might be turning in a stack of essays approximately the height of a small rat, sure, but…you have a finals week without any actual finals.

Silhouette, for comparison purposes

STILL NO COMPARISON TO AN OCHEM FINAL

What. The. Serious. Arrgh. Blrrgh.

For all that the stereotypical college student questions is “Will this be on the test?” it’s not one that I personally hear very often except, like, the day before the test (when it’s a legitimate question whose answer is frequently “no, it’s on the next one”). It’s not often asked because the inevitable answer of “See this book? Know it. All of it,” which is just too depressing to contemplate.

Bioenergetics and Clostridium perfringens and blots for every single cardinal direction, and that’s the way the song goes.

And this is why I get to both envy and feel superior to all those who only—

—wait, what? I have to write what for my Writing Proficiency course? Three entire pages? Are…are you sure?

…wouldn’t you rather give me an exam?

3 Comments

  1. Comment from anthonymsilva      Reply
    Time 17 March, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    I would personally rather write essays, because essays tend to be a lot more subjective, so I work well with them. I do take my fair share of exams though, and it just proves to me that I’m not a big fan of tests with time restraints and such. My anxiety over it gets the best of me there.

  2. Comment from Carrie      Reply
    Time 18 March, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    I do sometimes hate those people who have to write papers instead of memorizing hundreds of equations. And yes there is tons of anxiety about whether or not what is going to be on a test. That’s the biggest pain of all sometimes.

    • Comment from Kara      Reply
      Time 24 March, 2013 at 8:15 PM

      Hmm. Might just be me? I always just sort of assume everything, but with, like, more of a focus on THIS chapter than this OTHER chapter (but still at least one question from this other chapter because come on, you think you can get away with not knowing this?)

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