Midterms at UC Santa Cruz

March 05, 2014 / by / 0 Comment

So I’m studying in California. The good? I’m in the land of the free. Freedom, hooray! And the not so good? None of that freedom matters right now. Only school does. They weren’t joking when they said that the University of California public university system is one of America’s crowning achievements. It has proved to me on a personal level that it has what it takes to keep a student mind occupied. In a quarter (an American academic term much like a semester, but shorter), the typical student here signs themselves up for a course load amounting to around 6 midterms and countless more assignments in each 10 week quarter – there are three of them per academic year. I’m going to report with some certainty that the UC system’s reputation for academic intensity is pretty accurate.

Given that it’s currently midterms week at HKU, I thought it appropriate to share some exam-related woes in photos. So I decided to dig through my archive of weird snaps taken at UC Santa Cruz – and the even weirder stories behind them.

Being new to the American style of college life, I’m finding the midterm exam weeks to be quite…unexpectedly challenging. On top of the workload, I discovered some of the unforeseen problems that come with studying at a campus located in a forest:

Trying to go to the exam hall and ending up lost in the forest itself.

Having to convince a friend to drive you to your exam, because you woke up late and although you live on campus, campus is massive.

Protests at UC Berkeley – quite a few UCSC students drove down to Berkeley to participate. I went to document. Here, students physically occupy a teaching building and the area outside, blocking its entrances. I guess this must’ve stopped a couple of midterms from happening on time.

Buying midterm test papers – but you’re not the one cheating.  The professors are the ones cheating here, with their lazy way out of marking! For my midterms, I was required to buy a peculiar thing known as a ‘Pink Scantron‘. Unfortunately this ‘test material’ that you are expected to purchase and bring to your exam is not a sneak peak at tomorrow’s exam questions. It’s just a machine-readable answer sheet that they decided to make you buy instead of providing.

Police making cafeteria lines longer by stopping by for donuts. Precious revision time is lost waiting for policemen to serve themselves.

Being recruited as involuntary guinea pigs for ‘experiment’ midterms that turn out to be disasters.

And finally…being simply distracted from studying. Oh deer.