Students struggle to study for finals due to lack of knowledge

Due to the lack of material learned, students are unsure of what will be on final

ANNA YOUNG, Evergreen reporter

The semester is winding down, and that means students are gearing up for final projects and tests. Moreover, it means professors and university staff are realizing they have a mere three weeks to cram in every last event and lecture point.

This problem arises at the ends of both semesters, but more severely in the spring since the school year is almost over. Professors like Declan Myers of the history department often don’t see until this point that they’ve barely covered anything in the syllabus.

“After five years of having the same problem, I conducted a personal analysis of my teaching pattern,” Myers said. “It turns out all the class periods I spend talking about my annual vacations to Malibu sort of take up a lot of valuable teaching time.”

Myers said he tried to avoid this problem during the spring semester, but couldn’t resist reminiscing about sandy beaches and palm trees to his half-dead students. His plan for next year is to write his Malibu speeches into the syllabus so he has specific days dedicated to the topic, rather than trying to incorporate it into every class lecture.

“I won’t have time to write up that syllabus until after next fall semester starts, though,” he said. “I’ll be kicking back in Malibu all summer. And right now, I have to somehow get through all European history from medieval England to World War II in the nine classes I have left before finals.”

Students face more than unfocused professors. WSU Event Coordinator Cameron Insley said he sorted through the schedules of the various organizations that host speakers, programs and festivals and found every major event was scheduled in the two Saturdays before finals week.

“Nobody spread their events out evenly over the year,” he said. “They never do. Between the department award ceremonies, concerts and Distinguished Lecture Series, it’s a wonder any student can attend the mandatory events he or she needs.”

Junior Polly Brown attested to the difficulties of meeting attendance requirements. A music major with a political science minor, Brown said she struggles to schedule everything she has to do before finals.

“I have four more concerts to attend, plus two award ceremonies and a lecture from a former congressman,” she said. “Three of those are on Friday at 8 p.m., all mandatory, all for class credit.”

Brown said she also has several projects due, many of which she works on during those mandatory events. But studying for finals, she said, is more difficult.

“One of my music professors spent all semester showing us YouTube videos of ‘marching band epic fails,’ ” she said. “Our next test is about the eras of music, but what am I supposed to study? I haven’t been taught anything!”