It’s that time of year again! Sleigh bells ringing, chestnuts roasting, drunk people making faux-gingerbread houses out of dried Ramen noodles and marshmallows. And of course, grouchy, grinchy college students bemoaning their final exams, and specifically the fact that they have to speed-learn fifty fun facts about Viking headgear and how to say “give me my camel back, asshole” in Coptic.
There’s always one guy who thinks his workload is important enough to make headlines, and this year, it’s Penn senior Alec Webley. Webley’s latest column in the Daily Pennsylvanian, aptly titled “Abolish Final Examinations,” explains that we should scrap final exams in favor of “continuous assessment.” And then he takes the words right out of our mouth:
Abolish finals? “Heresy!” I hear you cry. But what on earth is the point of them? If the professor assesses material learned every week in a class and incorporates cumulative questions, why subject students to a two-hour supplemental test at the end? Likewise, if professors want a 30-page research paper, surely requiring an abstract and sources by one date, a first draft by another, then a second and so on will generate better papers? They don’t even need to read the initial drafts!
Sigh. As much as we’d love the idea of skipping out on our Feudal Politics final exam, we don’t think this would really solve our unhealthy habits. We’re not sleep-deprived because we’re up all night writing papers–we’re sleep-deprived because we stay up until four in the morning watching Geico commercials on YouTube, and then we write our papers. And we’re also sleep-deprived because we’re sex-deprived–which requires a lot of sweat and alcohol, a.k.a. brain medicine, to remedy on a semi-regular basis. Maybe instead of abolishing finals, we should just abolish college students.
Or maybe we should just go read that Econometrics textbook. And fear anarchists like Alec Webley for sowing the evil seeds of procrastination in our vulnerable minds. Beware the Webley, people.
Anyway, we know everyone’s starting to freak out about exams, so consider this our Official Good Luck, Don’t Fail Out of School Or You’ll Have To Work at a Dairy Queen For the Rest of Your Life Announcement. (And don’t forget to do stupid things so we can write about them.)