Snow-capped mountains
« All Posts by this Blogger
stacks of books

You see, I'm not really the person to be telling you about Finals Week at Dartmouth. After all… I didn't have a single final this term. Yet I'm still going to tell you about my finals week, just so you know that it's possible not to have a final exam ;)

The courses I took this fall term are the following: Humanities 1 (HUM 1, equivalent to a Writing 5 course*), Introduction to Computer Science (COSC 1), and French 8 (the first course after the introductory sequence French 1-3, or advanced French).

HUM 1 had no final–we simply had to write an essay of 8 to 10 pages. Simply? I can see you raising your eyebrows there. Is writing eight to ten pages simple?! Well, I prefer writing 10 pages over one week than actually studying and stressing out for an exam. So in this way–SIMPLY an essay, yes!

CS 1 (or COSC 1) had a different way of managing the final-exam situation. Throughout the term, we had three exams (they were supposed to be four) that all counted toward our final grade. In other words: Three midterms, but no final. This was their philosophy, and I quite liked it.

French 8 is another humanities/sociology class–we learned about French culture and language in French. We did study a bit of grammar, so for a while I thought that we might have a final that would cover all the grammar we learned throughout the term, but there was SIMPLY another paper. No actual exam. I'm not going to lie to you here, writing 1800 words in French was definitely a challenge–never before had I written so much in French. But it wasn't impossible, and it was better than a final exam… I guess. I've never had a final exam at Dartmouth, so I can't actually tell you what's better ;)

So since I had so much free time on my hands, you're probably asking: What did I do during finals week? Reporting, of course. I was thinking about you ALL the time–I walked around campus and noted down things, so I can tell YOU everything about finals at Dartmouth… First, I noted how the cookies at FOCO (our big cafeteria) seemed to be disappearing at a faster rate than normal. Second, I noted that all of my usual study-spaces–the Tower Room and the East Reading Room in Baker, the Sanborn Library, Berry Second Floor, and the Stacks (header image)–were packed! And I finally realized that for some reason, there was nobody in the computer science building! I had the entire building just for myself and my humanities essay. 

Wait–why were you writing your HUMANITIES essay in the computer science building, Kalina? Because the CS building is bright and modern-looking enough to give you productivity vibes, but at the same time it's cozy and warm, so it also gives you creativity vibes. What better place to write a humanities essay than the CS building, eh?

And that's my report for finals week. It's cookie time!

a view of sanborn library: cozy sofas under bright chandeliers
Sanborn Library

a view from the second floor in the east reading room
(Sorry it's blurry) the East Reading Room

*A Writing 5 course is a mandatory course every freshman takes at some point during their first year at Dartmouth–it serves as your writing requirement. There are different varieties of Writing 5 courses (you can check them out here), but you can take the Humanities sequence instead if you're interested in literary/film classics. (This term we read Goethe's Faust and we saw Pixar's Wall-E. It was classics time!)

Posts You Might Like