At UC Berkeley, it’s no secret that “midterms season” brings an onslaught of pressure to students, as they juggle multiple exams and assignments at the same time while remaining highly conscious about grades. But for a select group of students, one midterm exam took it too far, and they decided to do something about it.
John Awfulson, the professor of History C69, Data Analytics and Machine Learning of Macro-Anthropological Genetic Biology in Post-Modern Political Theory, was surprised to find that nearly all of his students submitted their green books with the lyrics to “Fight for California” inscribed on each page in red pen.
According to campus sophomore Kelly Nosleep, a student who participated in the protest, the students were trying to make a statement about the unreasonably demanding nature of the exam. In an email sent by Awfulson to students, the midterm consisted of four portions: 50 multiple choice questions, four seven-part technical questions, 20 term IDs and three five-paragraph essays, all to be completed in 80 minutes.
“We wanted to make a statement,” Nosleep said of the demonstration. “We were willing to sacrifice our grades to show that the midterm was excessively demanding.”
Students pointed out that the act of writing “Fight for California” in red ink was a symbolic protest for many reasons. Nosleep pointed out how red ink would defy Awfulson’s strict requirements that exams be completed using .38-size pens with “navy twilight” colored ink.
“He literally wanted us to go out and buy these super specific pens from this random store to take our test with,” Nosleep said. “Since we couldn’t take the test with our choice of writing utensil, now he can’t grade them with his favorite red pen.
Students in History C69 also believed that writing the campus’s sacred fight song in red, the color of UC Berkeley’s mortal enemy Stanfurd, would send a signal about the more widespread problem of midterm exams putting undue stress on students.
“There’s something really chilling about looking down at your exam and seeing ‘for California, through and through!’ written in red ink,” said freshman Tim Strungout. “It makes you think about the ways that maybe this school has problems it doesn’t want to acknowledge and would rather just sing away.”
This is a satirical article written purely for entertainment purposes.
Contact Hannah Nguyen at [email protected].