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The Bright Eyes Aren't Bright and the Bushy Tail Got Caught in a Weed Whacker
by Trent Dietz

It was here. It had arrived. The moment we had all been dreading since the last time we had endured it: exam week. Exam week is an odd time in pretty much any context. Whether you’re in high school, college, or grad school, it is usually a time of awkward breaks between moments of stress so overwhelming that the professors are required to carry defibrillators in their briefcases (“If you have any questions, come up to the front and ask me; and if you feel yourself experiencing massive heart failure, just quietly raise your hand”). And as you progress through the various levels of education, it only gets worse.

Personally, I’m in law school, a venue whose exam traditions trace directly back to the Spanish Inquisition. My first exam was on a Saturday at 8:00 am, which would have been delightful had it not been for the “exam,” “Saturday,” and “8:00 am” parts. The week then progressed through leisurely days of trying to memorize several months’ worth of material interspersed with tests designed to melt the brains of the unworthy. The entire week represented approximately the same amount of work per student as the Manhattan Project.

Thankfully, after every test, the law school provided lunch. The exam survivors could limp down to the cafeteria and enjoy free food that exemplified the phrase “You get what you pay for.” Yet, even though the food wasn’t exactly up to par (by which I mean “a triple-bogey”), the meals were also some of the best I have ever eaten. You see, each meal represented the end of another class. They usually involved discussing the success or failure of the test in a nonchalant manner that belied the great weight every law student places on exams. We would joke around about how badly we thought we had failed, reveling in the simple fact that there was nothing we could do about it now. Whether we lived or died was out of our hands.

After lunch, we would head our separate ways and study for the next exam. A couple days later, we would show up, endure three to three and a half hours of brain-busting, and laugh about it over lunch again. Finally, on Friday, the ordeal was over. This time when we went home, there would be no exam demanding our attention. There would only be peace, quiet, and homework for next Monday because our law school was on the quarter system and the only break we got between quarters was a nifty two-day vacation called a “weekend.” Hip-hip-hoo(are you kidding me with this?!)ray.

But such is life. We deal with it, we work hard, we move on. We laugh at ourselves and remember that we’re not the only ones who go through this kind of stuff. And when the schedule says “Exam on Saturday at 8:00 am” we show up. Why? Simple: free food.