Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Midterm Madness and Writing Wrongs

The day of midterm has finally arrived. I woke up with much less difficulty today because I was anxious to take the test. I think others had the same experience I did because Andrew Gonzales was ready long before I was (I usually meet him at his room to go downstairs to breakfast). We headed down to breakfast and collected our food rather quickly. I was so distracted I didn’t spray the waffle iron with non-stick spray and… well you can guess what happens next. Anyway, we sat down and devoured what little food we each had. After we finished eating, we quizzed each other on quotes of certain philosophers and what kind of stand they took on particular issues. It was a pretty good warm up for the test.

We got to the lecture hall and I immediately began trying to calm myself down. I sat back, closed my eyes and listened to my music. It worked well because by the time Prof. K walked in, I was completely calm. They handed out the test prompt (without the answer booklet) and I immediately began choosing my essay and writing an outline for it. Within two minutes, the TA’s handed out the answer booklets. The time for the test seemed to fly by. When I was halfway through my essay, there were still thirty-five minutes left. The next thing I knew, they alerted us that there were only ten minutes left! Thankfully I was nearly done with the short answer portion, but it was still shocking. The test was much easier than I had anticipated. We were studying diligently all night and we were all worried about today. I suppose I would prefer a test that was easier than I thought as oppose to vice versa.

I turned in my test about five minutes early and waited outside the lecture hall for everyone to finish. About fifteen people had already completed the tests and were discussing the essays in small groups by the time I came out of the lecture hall. I avoided discussion for the moment, bought a celebratory Pepsi out of a vending machine and began to contemplate my experience thus far. I’ve been away from home exactly two weeks so far. This is a completely new experience for me. I’ve learned a little bit about what I want out of college from coming to Cornell. I definitely want to attend a small school (population-wise and physically). I also think (despite the size) Cornell could be a possible candidate for application because the campus is very isolated. It takes a ten minute bus ride to get to the mall (aka civilization) and anything farther out than that is at least half-an- hour. This would be good because I wouldn’t be distracted by the desire to go anywhere on short notice. Plus when I did go somewhere, it would be more special. Those are my thoughts on my college decision so far. These preferences (though limited) will help me research colleges/universities this upcoming school year.

After the test, Prof. K lectured on the position of women throughout history. It was pretty standard stuff. He told us ahead of time it would be a simple lecture because of the midterm being that day. He did not go into any specifics in terms of people; it was primarily a history lesson. He basically spoke about the subordination of women and how men have thought about them through the ages. This will probably give us a good frame of mind with which to read Wollstonecraft and de Gouges tonight.

After the lecture we ate lunch at Trillium. We (Jordan, the Andrews and I) decided to unwind with a little Frisbee in front of Bailey Hall before we had to go to our Wednesday writing session. This was a good idea because it added a little bit of fun to our otherwise work-oriented day. We headed to our respective TA writing workshops afterwards. We took a look at Plato essays and learned about the incorrect ways to write an introduction to an essay. There were four different ways you could go wrong… and I am guilty of using all of them at one time or another. Simon described them as “fluff” used to make it sound attractive to the reader, but it really isn’t. Our Plato essays were read by a peer and each reader had to write a review of the paper and provide constructive criticism. I read Sunny Joo’s paper and I have to say, she is a pretty good writer. Her grammar and organization were impeccable. This is something that I’m not used to reviewing when we do peer review at school, so it was a big reminder that these are not the same kind of people I know from home.

After the writing session, the Andrews and I added yet another bit of fun to our day by heading over to the RPCC, which we just call it the “Bear Necessities “ because we don’t remember what RPCC stands for and the mini-mart inside is called the “Bear Necessities.” Here we played pool for about twenty minutes. The final score was Gonzales: 7, Woo: 4 and Elms:4. I was pretty proud of myself since the last time I played pool, I hit the cue about two inches every time I managed to hit it. It was definitely a fun way to celebrate the end of midterms.

And now here I am. Midterms are finally over, I have received a decent critique of my Platonic essay (thus the writing wrongs pun in the title) and I am ready to study women’s rights. My day has been great so far and hopefully it keeps getting better. I’ve got to go study now, so I’m signing off.

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