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Chillin’ between exams: High stakes holiday stress.

Students lounge in the lobby of the building outside the office day in and day out during the semester.  Ordinarily, the lobby hustles and bustles with chatter and good-natured banter.

But during final exams, a palpable but silent tension hangs in the air.  Instead of fiddling with smartphones and swapping tales of weekend party exploits, students flip nervously through flash cards,  pore assiduously over pages of notes etched on pages of spiral notebooks and binders, or dropsy-doopsy off into do-do land  from the hangover of last night’s cram session.  Lines of high stakes stress  are etched in the expressions of students just a week ago exuding the brash audacity of youth.  Yes, during final exam time in the hallways of the Community Education Classroom Building, death row is a less somber place!

Happy am I that I did my finals “daze” years ago, and now I’m on the less stressful giving rather than receiving end of the misery that’s doled out in this season, although mine is not all a lark.   After all, I am obliged to read and evaluate multiple sets of research papers and final exam essays, not all of which, mildly understated, are stellar works of rhetorical accomplishment.  Papers to grade notwithstanding, though, I wouldn’t trade places with these exam-struck.

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