Another term means another finals period! As winter in Hanover wraps up (hopefully!) I have to prepare for my finals. This term, I have a variety of types of finals across my classes; by sharing them with you guys, I hope to give prospective students a peek into what finals period looks like for a humanities-inclined student!
My Introduction to Cultural Anthropology follows the traditional final-examination structure. That is, an in-person final exam with a mix of short answer and longer essay questions. The exam will be about 2 hours long; since it is a cumulative final, it will cover everything from the start to finish of the course. Exams like these mean you don't have to write final papers, but you still need to put lots of time and effort into studying the material so you do well on the final.
For my Modern Media Theory class, I have the aforementioned 'final essay'. While this means that I don't have to sit down and take an exam, it is incredibly time-consuming to plan and write a final essay. The length is 10-12 pages; however, since the prompt is relatively open-ended, it allows me to touch on the aspects of media theory that I am most interested in. While it will certainly be time consuming to write the paper, I'm glad I have this liberty to explore something we've studied with greater depth. It is pretty common for humanities classes to have final essays in place of the final exam; this is usually a good thing, because it means I can go home early to work on the essays from home!
My last final will be for my art history class on colonialism in museums. It's a bit more creative: we have to design a 'class' for a topic we are interested in. That is, we have to select pre-course readings, in-class activities, and other resources that would be helpful to someone learning that material. Essentially, it allows us to create a mini-curriculum based on a subject of interest. I'm a big fan of this format, because like the essay it allows students to go more in-depth into what they're really interested in! And of course, finals become much easier when they're related to something you enjoy.
Overall, it will be a pretty hectic finals period over the next two weeks. Hopefully, this provided some insight into what finals might look like at Dartmouth!