Everyone at Lehigh, from the students to the cafeteria workers, is looking forward to spring break this coming week; everyone except the majority of the professors who will be stuck grading exams. There is nothing much worse in the educational realm than having multiple exams separating you from a highly anticipated break, and that has been the case for me this week.
I have had an exam scheduled for Wednesday night, Thursday morning, and Friday morning – the three days just before spring break. Compared to most others I’ve talked to, my situation is actually fairly nice. I’ll have taken an exam for each of my six classes once we get back from break but at least I don’t have five exams this week or 3 in a 30 hour span like I’ve heard from some friends. The exam periods are usually crowded and hectic because almost all classes at Lehigh have two midterms and a final (most colleges just hold one midterm), but it is even more so this semester with the snow days we’ve had. All of my classes have had to be cancelled at least twice at some point and that lost time limited the scheduling options professors had. Most of them would have loved to hold an exam last week so they could grade them before taking off completely over the break.
I had my Concrete Design exam yesterday evening which was more reasonable than expected. I was confident about knowing the material and problem solving process so I held off on studying until that afternoon so I could focus on other things. Handing in the exam, I felt that everything was right but while walking back to my room I realized I didn’t multiply one of my answers by a certain factor. I even checked over my work twice for that problem because I was doubtful of the relatively low answer I got and also wondered why the professor gave an extra parameter in the problem statement that I didn’t use. Of course I didn’t notice the mistake until just after turning in the exam!
After concrete, I had engineering planning and economics in eleven hours. I happened to get too engrossed in the Buffalo Sabres – Boston Bruins hockey game though, which was being aired nationally (one of the few times I could watch the Sabres here), and didn’t study at all. I would NEVER suggest going into an exam blind and this is first time I’ve ever done that, but I don’t regret it at all because the exam was easy enough and the Sabres played their most exciting game all year tying the game with less than a minute left and winning in overtime.
Tomorrow, Friday morning, I have Geotech which is open-book. I need to organize my notes and skim over the sections in the book so I am familiar with where all the information is. Once that exam is over I’ll be free! Me and two others have planned a ski trip up to Vermont for spring break. I know – most people go to the beach or whatever. But I can never get enough of the snow and skiing so this will be one of the best trips of my life. My parents were a little hesitant, mostly about how much it would cost me, but I felt that I wouldn’t have a better opportunity to do this outside of college so I was willing to go broke for it. The three of us are planning to hit three different mountains, one each day, and tear-up some of the toughest runs on the east coast. I can’t wait for spring break!