Every Argument (Ever) Against Finals

This one is not a masterpiece, so don't feel too bad that you can't see itWhat do smoking cigarettes and finals have in common, you ask? (Well, maybe I put the words in your mouth, but you asked it. Trust me on that).

The answer is: a lot of things. They both have dangerous health effects. They are both widespread epidemics across the world. And it doesn’t make sense to relate either finals or cigarettes to camels.

However, the most obvious thing in common is: people used to think that they were good for you. If you’ve ever watched “The King’s Speech,” a movie, if I remember correctly, about the famous “I have a dream” speech, you know that the doctor tells the king to smoke, because it will supposedly relax his lungs.

Now, I can’t tell you why people would think finals are good for teens, but they must have thought so at one point. I mean, society has never gone out of its way to make our lives miserable before*.

*For those geniuses* who missed it, that was sarcasm. Society hates us juvenile delinquents/juvenile delinquents in training/future juvenile delinquents in training.

*Also sarcasm.

However, this is no longer the case. In my unbiased and expert opinion, finals are nothing but a bad experience that you must try to pretend never happened (in doing so, ignore the scarring in your brain).

We Don’t Learn Anything

By definition, final exams are tests. They test our knowledge, which means that we must have already learned the material.

In fact, it’s the studying for finals that is when the real learning happens. So, all the teachers need to do is tell the students to study their notes for many hours each night to the point where they get very little/no/negative amounts of sleep, and the problem’s solved. Of course teens will do this simply because their teacher asked.

The Stress is Stressful

Finals are more stressful than, say, fighting he-who-must-not-be-named or competing in a hunger games. At least in those, you know it will end happily for you if you’re the main character.

This is not true for finals. There has been many a main character who has not survived finals, and thus did not get to star in the required subsequent sequel/trilogy/eighty thousand book series.

Just take William Jones, for example. I bet you’ve never heard of him before (and not because I just made him up*). That’s because, instead of killing the antagonist and getting the girl, he perished on page 36 of his novel (entitled “The Murder of the Gatekeeper of the Cave of Attractive Dragon Vampires on Planet Zorkylv” to encompass all possible customer demographics) after he was unable to answer the question “What is the standard deviation of the derived slopes of the equation 45×2+y3+13=z1423 on the domain of the dates of the birthdays of the students in the class?” during his math final.

*Which doesn’t mean that I didn’t just make him up.

Therefore, you get stressed when finals comes around (for example…). This stress causes more stress, because then you study for your health final and stress about the negative effects of stress. And then you go back to stressing about finals and then stress about the fact that you will never stop stressing about finals and thus start stressing about your stress and it’s health effects until you combust in a brilliant fireball of stress. Which will not even get you excused from taking your finals.

Finals Waste Resources

When you study for finals, you stay up all night. Thus, you use electricity all night. And you eat, all night. Not to mention, you probably use the bathroom a few times as well. All these actions waste resources.

Furthermore, the finals are usually on some sort of paper. More wasted resources. The paper was created using an industrial process, which has deadly pollutants that the company dumps in a national park. Even more waste.

The finals take the teacher time to grade. The teacher stays up late grading. More electricity use.

The finals keep the school open one extra week. More resource use.

Clearly, finals are basically single-handedly causing global warming. Which is quite a convenient truth for those who don’t like finals.

You’ve experienced ‘em. You’ve hopefully/probably/not really/haven’t/definitely haven’t/okay who are you kidding survived your finals. And now, you need to take on your finals. Obviously, finals are terrible for society. And I’m not just saying that as a finals-taking juvenile delinquent. I’m saying that as a finals-taking juvenile delinquent who hates studying for finals.

Last year, we brought you a fully interactive (meaning yes, it is coded and it works) quiz entitled “How Many Hours would you last during High School Finals?” It’s pretty awesome, and you should definitely take it if you have not already.

Your Schedule: Life During Finals

A clockSchool ends in a month, and, like a bad blog post, you want it to end, but there’s that little bit of you that thinks: do you really want it to end? (The answer is yes). Of course, just like a bad blog post, and Rebecca Black, the more time you spend reading/watching/attending, the worse it gets. Which means that the last week of school will be full of these little inconveniences known as finals.

They are not as inconvenient as, say, waking up on the wrong side of the bed and breaking your nose because the bed is against a wall, then being carted to a hospital where they inform you that they will need to amputate your nose and that you will walk around looking like Voldemort for the rest of your life (unless, of course, you are somebody famous, in which case many people will rush to amputate their nose), but more inconvenient then, say, getting pushed into a pool while wearing a tuxedo.

I’d like to start off, two paragraphs too late, by telling you why finals are so stressful. Basically, finals determine your grade, which determines your GPA, which determines what colleges you will apply/get accepted to, which can determine your job opportunities, which determines your pay, which determines whether or not you can afford a nose operation for your kid when they, too, break their nose by waking up into a wall.

Therefore, I’ve got a sample schedule for you of life during finals week.

Weekend Before (Saturday and Sunday): Study Math, Science, English, French, Health, History, and Theoretical Nuclear Particle Physics.

10:00 PM Sunday: Get into bed.

11:00 PM Sunday: Start worrying that you might not sleep tonight.

12:00 AM Monday: Concede that there will be no real rest tonight.

1:00 AM Monday: Fall asleep.

2:34 AM Monday: Wake up, jump out of bed, and then realize your alarm hasn’t yet gone off.

4:09 AM Monday: Repeat what happened at 2:34.

5:22 AM Monday: Wake up, look at clock, and decide that it is close enough to 6 AM to warrant finally waking up.

5:23 AM Monday: Try to count how many hours of sleep you got, but stop because you are unable to add 1.5 + 1.5 +1.5.

5:24 AM Monday: Fall back to sleep.

6:00 AM Monday: Submerge head completely in cold water; the adrenaline from almost drowning should wake you up (unless you actually drown, in which case you can ignore the rest of this schedule).

6:30 AM Monday: Eat breakfast, and, depending on your intelligence level, drink coffee.

7:08 AM Monday: Almost get hit by the school bus because you had decided to sleep in the street.

7:09 AM Monday: Get angry lecture from school bus driver.

7:21 AM Monday: Get to school. Learn that school starts a half-hour later so students could get more sleep, except you can’t sleep in if you want to catch the bus because they don’t change the bus schedule.

7:22 AM Monday: Give angry lecture to school bus driver.

7:30 AM Monday: Find a quiet corner to study.

8:00 AM Monday: Start Testing.

8:33 AM Monday: Have miniature heart attack when you realize you forgot to study this section of your math book.

8:35 AM Monday: Make 27 consecutive guesses of ‘C.’

9:45 AM Monday: Finish your first final. Sleep in the hallway.

10:00 AM Monday: Start English final.

10:22 AM Monday: Realize that you will never understand the poem you’re supposed to analyze, and instead try to tie it in to vague themes like ‘life,’ ‘death,’ ‘the passage of time,’ and ‘ax^2+bx+c.’

10:24 AM Monday: Frantically scratch out your last paragraph as you remember that ax^2+bx+c was what you needed for the math test, and thus line 6 of the poem is probably not a metaphor about it.

10:47 AM Monday: Finish the English final an hour ahead of everyone else. Sweat/cry until you run out of salt.

11:45 AM Monday: English final ends. Talk in the halls with fellow test-takers and learn that the poem was actually about how clichéd the themes of ‘life,’ ‘death,’ and ‘the passage of time’ are, according to the athor.

12:00 PM Monday: Eat lunch. Study frantically for your science final. Try to simulate the formation of a solution using your Gatorade and Sandwich.

12:45 PM Monday: Start science final.

1:30 PM Monday: Your calculator runs out of batteries.

1:32 PM Monday: After two minutes of frantic negotiations with your science teacher, he’s agreed to allow you to borrow a calculator in return for getting your wallet, phone, and car.

2:30 PM Monday: Finish the science final. Go home.

3:00 PM Monday: Study for your History final. The dates actually literally start coming out of your ears, until you are in a five-inch-deep pile of dates.

6:00 PM Monday: Eat dinner while using your mashed potatoes, fork, and peas to re-enact the civil war (taking note of specific battle outcomes and their importance).

7:00 PM Monday: Start studying for your Health final.

11:00 PM Monday: Read about the dangers of being too stressed in the Health textbook.

12:00 PM Monday: Read about the dangers of getting less than eight hours of sleep a night in the Health textbook. Laugh hysterically.

[Repeat for Tuesday and Wednesday, subbing in the appropriate finals]

5 Reasons to Stress about 1 Word (Finals)

Finals TestGive me an F! Give me an I! Give me a Nals! What does that spell! No, seriously, what does that spell? You’ve got an F, an I, and a Nals; that spells “is flan,” right? That’s the dessert that looks like plain yogurt but tastes better than gum, I think.

Actually, it spells Finals. AAAAAAAHHHHH! Sorry, that was an involuntary reaction to the word “fina-“ AAAAHHHH! Hold on one second…okay, sorry, that was an involuntary reaction to the word(s) “Rowndiau Terfynol” (Welsh).  Oh, good, problem solved.

“Rowndiau Terfynol,” or RT for short, are incredibly stressful.  You know this.  I know this.   I’m sure that at one point, even the teachers knew this (although they forgot in a forced process of memory regression during teaching school, using electroshock therapy.  I mean, after what you’ve been through in high school so far, could you live with yourself as a person knowing that you’d just ruined the valuable procrastination time of your students by assigning, well, anything that takes more time to complete than 1+0?).

RT are so stressful that they produce an involuntary nervous reaction from myself, even when I am writing.  I bet the same happens to you when RT is mentioned, along with dizzyness, headache, shortened breathing, increased heartrate, nausea, and seeing everything around you, not just movies, in 3-D (in severe instances). Watch: Finals.  AAAAHHHHH! [Pause] (I’ll wait for your heart to get back in your chest from your neighbor’s yard before moving on).

The question, then, is where does the stress come from? In many instances, unless the final is more than 25% of your overall grade, the impact/change RT will have will be minimal (unless you have a borderline grade). Well…

You Could Choke

No, I don’t mean choke, as in blockage of your windpipe leading to suffocation.  You should worry about that at least every other day, not just RT week.  No, I’m talking about messing up to an extreme degree.  What if, for some reason, you got an impossibly low grade, like a 12%? That would affect even non-borderline grades. What if you accidentally fill in all of the wrong answers? What if your brain wakes up and decides to work only in French?

You Could Bore Yourself to Death

This is very real, and it accounts for many deaths in the lawer’s-really-small-print-writing industry.  What if your finals were going along fine, but then, due to having to answer six consecutive questions about the biodiversity of the average Florida swamp alligator population, you keel over, dead at your desk? Nobody would probably notice, as they’d all be absorbed in their own tests, or possibly also dead from boredom.  The teacher would just assume you’d fallen asleep, and, when he realized that you were no longer amongst the ‘biodiverse’ living, would feed you to his pet alligator.

You Could Get Subjects Mixed Up

You studied a ton for these tests, not only re-reading every passage in all 7 of your various textbooks but also by emailing the authors about finding even more information. But what if you’ve studied too much? What if you are asked a question about the US Constitution, and you try to take the sine and cosine of the Constitution? Anything’s possible, of course; I mean, we’ve managed to put a man on the moon, for crying out loud (bonus: does anyone know if he came back, or if he is still up there, being full-body searched by the TSA before he can get on his rocket back to Earth?)

You Could Experience Technical Difficulties

By technical difficulties, I mean pencil problems.  With today’s advanced consumer-electronics-style pencil industry, a billion to a billion-trillion things can go wrong.  You could run out of lead for a mechanical pencil.

Your lead could break, and the pencil sharpener doesn’t work. Your pencil might not be #2 (for scanned multiple-choice forms). Your pencil could get nervous and forget how to write under the high-pressure of RT. Your pencil’s lifetime warranty could expire, and you (stupidly) didn’t buy the $300 extended protection program. You could forget a pencil, and have to write using the various substances present in your lunchbox.  Literally billions of things-I’m not kidding.

You Could Forget to Look where You Walk

Since it’s TR week, you need to study as much as possible for as long as possible.  This means that many intelligent teens, yourself probably included, walk the halls between classes with their head in a textbook or study-guide. This means that you aren’t watching where you step.  This is just asking for something bad to happen.

What if you walked into somebody else? Awkward, of course.  What if you fell down a flight of stairs? What if you walked right out a window? Forgot to stop at your classroom and walked all the way to hostile territory in Iran or Syria? Sure, these things are bad, but we all know the biggest, and most prominent danger of forgetting to watch where you step: you could step in the dog-doo that magically appears if you take your eyes from in front of you for even three seconds.

That, dear readers, right there is five, and just five, of the million reasons for stress during TR week.  But you won’t go back and re-count them, checking to see if there are really are 5, of course, so I could tell you that I really included all million reasons. You’d just have to take my word for it, because you are too busy studying for finals-AAAAAAHHHHHH!-I mean, studying for Rowndiau Terfynol.

Students Become Fungi as Finals Begin

 

MushroomBy: Gnott Mie-Reellnaim

Readers: I have written this as I assume it would appear in the NYT.  Apparently, the NYT doesn’t focus on these serious issues, instead spending time on more lighthearted issues.  For instance, yesterday’s online front-page headline was something like, “Fleeing Romney takes refuge on Turkey Syria border as FDA reveals new sunscreen regulations.”

A shocking new report has been published, telling how thousands of students will settle in to hard metal desks and be evaluated on their ability to bubble in circles this week.

The report comes from the trustworthy and exceedingly perfect HighSchoolHumorBlog.com, an expert on the topic.

Apparently, this week marks the end of school, or the start of finals.  Finals stands for Finally I’m Nearly Almost Leaving School, as school is almost over.  “I can practically taste the lemonade by the pool,” quoted one student, before the chains attached to his legs dragged him away.

Another student recalls the finals of last year: “They were very long, but we did well, as a school, I think.  That year, we only lost about 19 people.” As detailed in the shocking report, the students of America are forced to achieve a passing grade on the exams to move to the next grade (in numerical order ascending, except for kindergarten, where, instead of moving up to vegetablegarten, students go to first grade).

A few parents were “outraged” by the report.  One stated, in a call to the publisher, “I am OUTRAGED that my child actually has to receive a 70% or higher to move on.  I mean, not even the pros bat that average.  Tackle him! I ask that-somebody better guard that guy, guard that guy, c’mon now-the study be modifi-GOALLLL!-ed.” It is assumed that this parent was watching curling at the time, or maybe a Russian ballet, but the quote was included to give a fair and balanced analysis, and because we are paid by the inch.

Also, it could have given us an excuse to put in a picture of a Russian ballerina, which, like most pictures near newspaper articles (excluding the ones where the author drew a self-portrait using a pen that only works if you smack it against the paper and make a dot), would be extremely relevant.

According to the report, common tasks for finals include in-class essays, questions-and-answer type quizzes, math, and open-heart surgery with a mechanical pencil.  Sometimes, there is the unconventional true/false question.

Not many people at a nearby high school we ‘checked out’ (to give this article credibility) have any opinion on finals.  In fact, when asked why he looked like a train wreck that had been genetically modified, one student replied, “I…no sleepy last night.  My brain…oatmeal…didn’t breakfast…studying.”  This profound statement gives much insight to the findings of the report.

Now that you’ve read this far, we feel it is fair to actually tell you what the report says.  It states that, “The average health and function of a high school student deteriorates…until, after all of the finals are over, the student….will be not much more than a mushroom, the kind that look edible but aren’t actually so.”

Since us, at the news desk, didn’t quite understand what this conclusion meant, we e-mailed the report publisher.  In particular, we were stuck on words such as ‘student.’  After being assured that we would not reveal our source, the author of the report (who can be found, for those curious, at HighSchoolHumorBlog.com) gave us the definition of student.

According to him, “student” is a non-gender-specific term used to refer to an unpaid laborer who has not yet learned time-management skills.  Also, our news staff went the extra mile to go the full nine yards with the story (although, for those math whizzes, we’ll tell you that yes, we understand a mile is actually only seven yards) and learned that a “mushroom” is a type of fungus similar to a newborn child, in that they both look innocent but aren’t actually so.

In fact, in a heroic act of superb investigative reporting, the vice-news-editor gave his life by eating a poisonous yet unassuming ‘mush-room’.

Regardless of our intelligence levels, though, we can rest assured that we are smarter than the author of the report, who trusted us not to reveal his location (HighSchoolHumorBlog.com).  With that, we wish the “mushrooms” of America good luck in the next couple days of finals.

Readers: Summer is fast approaching (2 days, or less if I move to Australia) and I want to know if you have any opinion on what I should post over the summer.  Short stories? Regular posts, only about summer instead of school? Fake news articles, like this one? Personal narratives? An increase in illustrated posts (I’ll have more time)? An announcement that I am running for the 2012 Republican Nomination? Comment or e-mail me and let me know.