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An open letter to professors who assign midterms during break

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APRIL 02, 2018

Dear professors,

We get it. You think you’re doing us a favor by giving us that extra week to prepare for that midterm or write that essay, but in reality, all you’re doing is ensuring that those five to nine days of spring break we could have spent in blissful ignorance of anything assignment-related are now going to be attached to the impending doom that’s coming for us right when we get back to school.

Those little moments of reprieve over break with our families, friends and the people we’re avoiding back at home? Ruined. Tainted by the knowledge that we have a five-to-seven-page essay to turn in the moment we return to Oski’s open arms.

How are Jewish bears even supposed to enjoy Passover knowing that the angel of death (also known as midterms) is waiting just around the corner, just outside our doors?

Easter-celebrating Bears are all-too-aware that on the third day, our assignments will rise again — stronger and more powerful than ever while we’re left in a dazed stupor, speaking in tongues and our veins filled with caffeine and 50-percent-off Butterfinger Nest Eggs from Target.

Other professors and even cheery “helpful” GSI’s, you’re not exempt either.

“Oh, you can spend the week catching up,” you say. Catching up? You mean in doing all of the extra homework you assigned us considering you deemed it necessary to give us double the readings since we can handle it in all our spare time? For many of us, Easter becomes a midterm RRR week.

Do Berkeley students even know the meaning of the words “spring break”?

I’m not talking about the fraternity boys who spent their week in a Cabo-induced stupor for the past 12 or so days, because let’s be real — everything will turn out OK for them whether or not they graduate on time.

No, I’m talking about those of us who have had to turn down friends this past week because “Sorry, I know I’m on break, but I really need to study,” or “Yeah! I’d love to do that, let me just write another page of this first,” and found yourself met with frowns or eventual complacency from significant others and best friends who really are just trying to understand.

I’m also referring to those of us who had to spend half the week just recovering from the emotionally and mentally taxing past 10 weeks and finally catching up on sleep. Sadly, most of us Bears have only just begun to hibernate when the birds start chirping incessantly to remind us that spring is here — it’s time to get back to work.

“You go to one of the top schools in the country for your major,” a professor once reminded their groaning class. “What else do you expect?”

And maybe they were right. But that doesn’t mean we won’t groan about all the work we have to finish before what feels like our 500th midterm of the semester.


The Clog

Contact Lauren West at [email protected].

APRIL 03, 2018