Surviving Finals’ Week

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The countdown begins to the end of the semester. This was one short semester. And to think that our AUS folks are finishing in January…why the rush, MI?

One thing I don’t understand is this; we have long holidays because of eid, National Day, Hijra New Year…a long holiday which we DON’T enjoy anyway because we have so many projects to finish, and then when we come back, they surprise us with make-up classes for the long holiday that we didn’t enjoy anyway (did I say that again?)….

Anyway, I just thought of reposting the following note for the newbies on how to survive finals’ week.

It’s funny how after 18+ years in academia you learn tricks of the trade that help you pass* exams with a smile. Some of the techniques I’ve come across;

1) When it comes to essay questions, mess up the handwriting, except for the ‘code’ words. That way, the professor thinks that you know what you’re talking about except for the scribbly-chicken handwriting, and might give you the benefit of the doubt. The only effort you’ll have to make is know the code word for each course, and sometimes you don’t have to look hard and long for them, because they’re right there in the title of the course. Like for corrosion course, ‘corrosion’ was the code word. What type of corrosion? Doesn’t matter…just mess up the handwriting of what comes before and after.

2) If the question is too tough, scribble it out, and change the question with one of your own and then answer that instead. Show the professor that you studied, and open their eyes to the possibility that maybe the question was wrong, not your answer…

3) If the whole exam was so tough, and you can’t leave the exam room until the first hour is over, entertain yourself. I used to write poetry at the back of the exam. Alternatively, write an emotional letter to the professor about how they’ve been the best professor you’ve ever encountered, and you can’t believe what sort of exam they’d come up with, that you feel betrayed, but you’re sure it’s their evil twin who put the exam, not him. Give him another chance to repeat the exam, or alternatively, tell them to give you an A, and you would forgive them.

4) If you are really angry at the professor for putting out an exam where the results of those who forsake a fun outing to study would be equal to those who went to have fun, then scribble out the ‘good luck and smiley face’ at the end of the exam, and tell them, “Next time, don’t even bother writing good luck.”

5) If you have to submit a lab report, get an SA&D** student to fix your cover page, put lots of pictures in the introduction from google, and print the whole report in color.

6) If you have a deadline to meet where you’ll be penalized for late submission, slip in your essay under the professor’s door before the deadline, no matter how bad it looks. Then once he leaves, stalk one of the cleanco guys working along that corridor, and when he opens this specific professor’s office to clean up, see if your essay is still around (sometimes it is, with a large foot print on it), take it back and resubmit again over the weekend or at night.

7) If you have a presentation, fill it with animation (the continuous ones that move even when you’re on the same slide), so they’d be so in awe with the animation that they won’t pay attention to what you have to say. When we told our advisor we’d do that for the design presentation (with the reason of course), he laughed. I guess he thought it was a joke. The results on how it worked with us were mixed though; Even though we used animation in both Design 1 & 2, in Design1 – we were not asked a single question. Design 2 – we were the group asked the most questions….so judge for yourself.

8) If the exam was really, really, really tough that your heart begins palpitating furiously, you begin sweating, and the walls seem to close in on you, what you can do is repeat each and every single question in the space provided for answers. Repeat each question 3 times, some backwards, do some translation if you want. also make sure your font is 7 so they’d have to get a magnifying glass to read. Make them suffer the way they made you suffer.

Alternatively, just work hard and study, or ignore…

*By pass, I’m not talking about an A or even C-, but pass as in get the exams over with

** for non-AUS’ers, SA&D is School of Architecture & Design students, where the artistic talents lie

I’ve personally tried 3, 4, 5 and 7, what about you?


*Fluid exam tomorrow *Scream*

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So tomorrow I have the fluid mechanics midterm. That explains why I jumped into the car and went on an aimless drive around khalifa city, trying to relieve stress from thinking about shear stress and the strain tensor.
I am worried abt tomorrow’s midterm cz there’s no final and the rest of the grades will be distributed among assignments and project. Ilmohem im not panicking though cz ever since I was a kid my uneducated mom taught me the best recipe for preparing for an exam…on exam day, pray two extra rakaas before your exam and make duaa. Very simple. They don’t teach us that in school…
Besides if we really think about it, the exam paper is just a paper that we fill, hand in and when it comes back to us, it comes back COLORED….
If only things were that simple.
My mom didn’t get an education thanks to the Yemeni philosophy of not educating girls. I never understood that…maybe they think that educated become too independent and out-of-control…my dad thought differently though, and the result is me…but truth be told, my standards were set higher than my brothers…I had to do exceptionally well in school if I were to go to an expensive university like AUS…my brothers were going to be educated regardless because they were guys but the standards were different for me…
And when I was getting frustrated with my job and was telling my dad that I was going to quit and reapply back to grad school, he said,”now you know why Yemeni fathers don’t educate their girls.” He really wanted me to keep the job for financial reasons but it’s not like I’m starving in grad school…
Then the day he said, “It’s illogical for a person to leave a corporate job for a stipend…”
And of course i told him, “can u say that again because one day I’m going to quote you…”
A part of me wants to write a book on my dad titled, “Dreams from my father,” “Conversations We Never Had” or “The Trip Home…”
Cz I realize that every step in my life is taking me closer and closer home, but I don’t quite reach…it’s like an asymptote…from Sharjah to Dubai to samha to khalifa city…I’m getting closer…
So why “Conversations we never had.”?
Cz when I was a kid I never understood why our education was so important to my dad. My dad didnt know that i wasnt benefitting much from the school system because i studied on my own at home. The school system was there just for me to socialize and the exams
Of course… But actually sitting and paying attention to teachers was not always a priority…i used to be one of those students who bunked classes everytime i felt like it…and I only got away with it because I was above most school rules and regulations…I.e. Teachers knew to leave me alone and not bother me…
But then years later i got my lovely job and finally understood.
I felt history was
repeating itself in the sense that society didnt respect my father cz he didn’t have a degree and so he got stuck in his job for years and couldn’t become a manager because of that one piece of paper. The same way that my colleagues didn’t respect me because I was a female trainee…my dad’s office diary was empty because he didn’t have that many important meetings to attend to just like my office diary remained empty for the time I was in my job. And I felt what my dad felt, he felt that his job in the office was not important cz thats exactly what I was feeling…but his job was important to us, because he was my father. And I realized I could stay quiet and accept the stupidity at work or forget about the money and go back to school.
Just a few days back my dad actually came to me and honestly said, “I really respect your leaving your job for school.”
And I thought, finally, though he was the one who was against the move the most..
Once I frankly told him, “You know dad, coming to think about it, you’re the one who wanted to be a manager. This job is your dream. Not mine.”
I didn’t study to make money for anyone. I was in the game for the knowledge itself…
And that explains the “Dreams from my father” title..
I guess the time has come for me to formulate my own dreams…

That’s it for today…enough wasting time And back to fluid mechanics…