Finals area upon us, or they're upon me, anway. I've taken two exams already. I don't have exams for either my gymnastics ro tumbling courses. My Music Theory IV instructor has kindly decided that giving me a final exam would be cutting down a tree for no good reason and has agred to give me the A and the number ine finish in class standing without the final exam. It's not an exam over which I would have bitten my naisl to the quick, but then, it's two hours I can use to do something else, and it's even more than that when considering the time needed to travel to campus, park, walk to class, walk back to the car, etc. It was an act of kindness on the part of the professor, which is something that seems to be rare around here. If I have a chance to do this professor a favor in return, I will. She also teaches violin, and in the future she may have a student who is not a trust fund baby whose funds are low and who is in need of an extremely cheap or free acompanist for a senior recital. I'll come through for her and for her student if such is the case.
I took my final yesterday for regional literature. As much as it pained me to do so, I temporarily "forgot" that not every great piece of literature was written in the South. Actually, some good works did come from the south. I focused on To Kill A Mockingbird, Cold Sassy Tree, and A Confederacy of Dunces. To Kill a Mockingbird was the only really major work to which I devoted major space, and even in doing that, I was taking a chance. The readers, especially if the prof does her own grading, get very weary of reading the same things, or even about the same things repeatedly. I included a few references to the works of Janet Holt Giles (they're quite funny in their own way). I gave token mention to Gone with the Wind (again at the risk of boring the grader) and the collective works of Mark Twain (I love Mark Twain, incidentally, but I was concerned that whoever grades our tests will get tired of reading about Mark Twain, so I trouched lightly upon his works). If anything wil distinguish my exam from the others, it will be the emphasis on A Confederacy of Dunces, It was a Pulitzer Prize winner. The professor alluded to it in several lectures without mentioning it by name, probably curious to see if anyone would follow up on her subtle hints and check it out. I'll know soon enough if reading it paid off in terms of this exam, but it was a good read, regardless.
I took my final for Theory of Knowledge today. It was fairly comprehensive, but gave a broad base of topics on which to write mni-essays, and allowed students to choose seven of the fifteen on which to write. I was too lazy even to think. I just wrote essays on the first seven topics. I don't even know what the final eight were. My mother said that is the stupidest thing she's ever heard of. When the final grade comes out, we'll see if it was really that stupid or not. I'll know in about a week.
Tomorrow is my anthropology final (Hunters and Gatherers). It will be interesting to see in what direction the professor goes with this. I suspect it's going to be a single essay on a fairly narrow topic, but I could be wrong. If I had to make a guess, I suspect it may have some connection to the relationship between formal land ownership as an ultimate end to the lifestyle of hunting and gathering, and that obesity and/or overweight may tie in to the topic. The professor is weight-phobic and works in the topic of obesity in the USA into almost every lecture whether or not it is pertinent. I'd be concerned for those in the class who are overweight (no one in the class is technically obese in my opinion) and that his bias could potentially impact their grades except that I don't think he has a ghost of a clue as to whom any one of us is, and probably couldn't pick any of us out of a police line-up if five-hundred-thousand dollars were on the line.
On Friday is, for me, the biggie: Risk Theory. I would expect several questions pertaning to Stochaistic processes, a whole lot of skewdness issues, and hopefully at least something about kurtosis since I did a paper on the topic. It will probably be roughly half short essay and half problem-solving related to specific cases. I've studied the subject matter all along, so there's no real reason to panic now. Still, I'll probably take half a klonopin -- enough to calm my jitters but not enough to make me drowsy -- if I can talk my dad into it.
Immediately following my last final on Friday, I'm heading to Utah. My friend Jared will join me there, as he grew up there and has many connections to the place. He's killing time waiting for his mission call to arrive, so he can decide whether to accept the call and strengthen his quadriceps by riding a bike for the next two years, or to instead tell the Committee and the Church as a whole to take a flying cannonball into the polluted Great Salt lake. I'm going to do a few recordings for an LDS-genre children's cartoon that the father of the children for whom I babysat is the muic producer. I'll only be there until Tuesday and will have the rest of the week off. Utah's a lovely place and all, with all those seagulls and Mormons and Mormon relatives, but I live a quarter of a mile from a beach. Most of the student population will be deserting the place to go to dirtier and more debaucherous beaches than the ones we have, so it's as though my friends and I will have the place to ourselves. There will be some tourists here, but they don't know the good spots, and I'm certainly not announcing them here. (If you're a regular reader and know where I'm talking about and really want to know something about the place, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll gladly share any secrets I have about the place.)
I'll end with a bizarre verse from a bizarre Paul Simon song ("Duncan") just because I thought it was a rather inventive rhyme scheme near the end. Neither the song itself nor the selected verse has absolutely anything to do with this post or with my life or with just about anything. Sometimes random inclusions are fitting.
A young girl in a parking lot
Was preaching to a crowd
Singing sacred songs and reading
From the Bible
Well, I told her I was lost
And she told me all about the Pentecost
And I seen that girl as the road
To my survival
-- Paul Simon
# -- the non-arrtist still known as Alexis