Midterms Cause Stress For Students, Libraries

Science Center C witnessed a lot of angst-ridden students yesterday, but they weren't scowling over ordinary 9 a.m. lectures.

Instead, the red lecture hall played host to three consecutive midterm exams, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Paine Hall also played the villain yesterday to hundreds of students, who paid the price for months of procrastination over Literature and Arts B-71, "Jazz: An American Music."

The three midterms in the Science Center were Statistics 100, "Introduction to Quantitative Methods," Literature and Arts B-39, "Michelangelo" and Science B-15, "Evolutionary Biology."

While a multi-test day might have been stressful for students who are enrolled in more than one of these classes, one student said he appreciated the fact that the sequenced tests were well-located.


"I had evolutionary biology at noon and Michelangelo at [1 p.m.]," said Manuel S. Varela '94, one of more than 1,000 students taking exams yesterday for the three large Core classes. "It was really convenient."

Although last-minute studying is hardly unusual, cram sessions for "Jazz" and "Michelangelo" required props beyond the normal texts and sourcebooks.

To prepare for the "Michelangelo" midterm, students had to study 65 photos of the artist's works on videotape or slides. Heather Kohl, a Lamont librarian, said this was no easy task for the students this weekend.

"Two of the [three] slide rolls had been used so heavily that they were completely out of order and could not be used," she said.

Kohl said when the library opened on Sunday, students were crowded outside the building desperately attempting to get a copy of the video tapes.

"There was a big rush to get the tapes over the weekend," said Ricardo M. Gonzalez '95. "A lot of tapes were overdue, which made it hard."

"Jazz" students faced similar difficulties, but in the form of scarce sound recordings.

Peter C. Hanson '95 was working in the Dunster library the evening before the exam, and the rush was on, he said.

"It was totally crazy, people were coming in every five minutes trying to get the tapes," he said. "But they were pretty much out of luck."

A lack of resources are little consolation, however, for students sitting in a lecture hall with a blue book and a blank mind.

"Michelangelo" got a "too little time" verdict from many aspiring art critics. "I don't think they should expect Pulitzer Prize-winning essays in only 15 minutes," Gonzalez said.

And "Jazz," despite the topic's interest for many, was "crazy" because of a lack of working space, Ilanna E. Bavli '96 said. "It was the most uncomfortable midterm I've ever taken," she said.

But, some said, it's not the test conditions but the taker that determines theresult.

"They never go as well as you like, but I'm asenior so I think I've learned all the tricks totest taking," Varela said