final exams

You are currently browsing articles tagged final exams.

It’s been a pretty standard week here in Cambridge. Reading Period and Final Examinations are in full swing. Everyone you run into is either enjoying the weather of their Senior Spring Semester or hitting the books pretty hard, preparing for final exams or proofreading their final papers. I definitely fall into the latter category, as I am not a senior and I have a lot of final exams and papers coming up. But every could has a silver lining, and final exams mean that summer is almost here! I’ll be in Cambridge this summer, interning at the Harvard Law School, so I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how things are hanging in the 617. In the meantime, here are just a few things I’ve been up to this week.

As a research assistant for a History & Literature professor I’ve gotten pretty familiar with the library system around here. The Harvard Library system is one of the most extensive in the world. I feel like I spend 75% of all my time in any of the many libraries on campus, and I’m sure I have not even scratched the surface of what Harvard’s bookshelves have to offer. I was looking for a specific set of newspaper articles from 1922 this past week so I visited the Houghton Library. Neighboring Lamont Library, Houghton Library houses many of Harvard’s rare books and manuscripts. I’ve only been a few times, but is is always fascinating what kind of priceless pieces of history Harvard owns. And, as I found out upon my visit, they take that priceless aspect pretty seriously. Houghton is open to the public, but being allowed to research items is almost as difficult as getting through airport security. The staff was very strict about how items are treated, although they were incredibly friendly and helpful with my research. Check out the Houghton Library blog for more information!

Houghton Library

Houghton Library

This past week was also the Eliot House Formal, otherwise known as Fête,  the French word for “party.” It’s a fitting name as Fête is undoubtedly the greatest party on campus. EVER. And I’m not just saying this because I am a biased Eliot House resident. I’ve been to my fair share of house formal dances at Harvard, and while they have all been immensely enjoyable, none of them has come close to the greatness of Fête. For one night a year, the Eliot House Committee turns the Eliot House courtyard into a scene out of The Great Gatsby. Twinkling fairy lights line the patio; a grand white tent sits on the grass covering a flawless hardwood dance floor. A live swing band plays great music that can be heard all along the river until 2AM. The guys and gals you’re used to seeing at 7:30AM in the dining hall in their sweatpants and workout gear are dressed to the nines in formal gowns and tuxes. It’s truly a magical night.

Fete Invitation

The invitation to Fete was slipped underneath our doorway about a week before the event!

I’ve been hearing about the brilliance of Fête since I was placed into Eliot House my freshman year, and it definitely lived up to the hype. This was my first time attending and I loved the live band, the swing dancing, the decorations, and of course the chocolate covered strawberries. I am seriously counting down the days until next year, wondering how in the world anything could top this year’s party.

live swing band

The Live Band played all night! They were great.

Well, with all of that said, it’s getting late, and I have quite a bit of studying to do. Wish me luck!

Until Next Week,


Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m done! And I’m writing to you all from home! I got home on Saturday afternoon and then spent the rest of the day shopping for Christmas gifts. By the way, the holidays totally snuck up on me this year. I haven’t really had the time or chance to think about them and Christmas Eve is…today!

The days leading up to my exam, I spent quite a lot of time in one of my favorite study spaces on campus: The Graduate School of Education‘s Gutman Library. It underwent renovation last fall and was completed in the spring. Gutman Library is actually one of the most relaxing places ever. The people don’t seem very stressed out; perhaps it’s something about the Ed School culture? On top of the great atmosphere, they have awesome purple chairs, huge tables, comfy, lounge-like couches, and an amazing cafe that beats Starbucks any day. Check out the following video of John Collins, Head Librarian, who gives a tour of the renovated space:

What’s my favorite part about Gutman Library? No one checks your bag before you walk out! The other two libraries I frequent, Lamont and Widener, have people who sit at the entrance to inspect bags as students are leaving. They have to do this to make sure that someone isn’t walking out with items such as the Gutenberg Bible, of which Widener has a complete surviving copy. There are so many important books in our libraries…it’s nuts. It’s funny because as soon as you walk out of Gutman, it feels strange that no one asks you to open every compartment of your backpack. I love it. Hey, it’s the little things! And speaking of little things, another one of my favorite parts about Gutman is the fact that Dean McCartney buys everyone free coffee and tea throughout Final Exam Period! No kidding — it’s free drinks every single day, and you don’t even have to be an Ed School student. However, she was just named President of Smith College so I’m hoping whoever succeeds her will still buy us free coffee and tea during exams. I know it sounds hilarious but it’s really one of my favorite parts of studying there at the end of each semester! Gutman Library is truly a gem, and if you get the chance, I hope you’ll all check it out!

My sister, Amanda, came to visit on Thursday and stayed with me for two days. I don’t see her too often because she lives and works in Los Angeles, so all I wanted to do was hang out with her. Of course, I had to force myself to study! Luckily, I brought her to Gutman with me on Thursday and we were able to do work next to each other. She loved Gutman as much as I do, and just ask her for an outside opinion; I’m confident she would give rave reviews.

Happy Yim siblings!

Happy Yim siblings!

Now that I’m home, I’m ready to take some time to relax for the holidays, which will include plenty of eating, as well as Netflix watching. I’m thinking of starting a new television series. I also have several books I want to read. After some much needed chill time, I think I’ll start applying to post-grad opportunities. I’m also going to Korea with three friends from Harvard for 5 days to do a final promotional run for the documentary series that I was a part of this past summer. However, I’m purposely trying not to stay too busy!

I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and the end of the year. I also hope you’ll write or tweet to us bloggers if you have any questions! See you all in 2013!

Tags: , , ,

First, congratulations to the Class of 2017! I’m so jealous you all found out so early. I had to wait until the spring when I applied my senior year of high school because there was no such thing as Early Action!

On December 5, Quincy House had our semester-ly formal event! This year’s winter formal was a Tri-House Formal along with Dunster (Caroline‘s House!) and Leverett, which are two other upperclass dorm buildings. The event was at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, and it was the last event of the year I planned as HoCo Co-Chair. HoCo (short for House Committee) is essentially the party-planning committee (Have you seen The Office?) for each upperclassmen dorm building. Every House has one, and in addition to formals, we plan community events like study breaks and act as liaisons between the administration and students. My term is officially ending at the end of this semester. But back to the formal, which was a lot of fun. The venue looked like a convention center and it was decked out in winter decorations, along with falling snow and projections on the walls. Pictures absolutely don’t do it justice, but I thought this might help with the visual:

Tri-House Formal: "A Night by the Harbor"

Tri-House Formal: “A Night by the Harbor”

During Reading Period (which is the week before Final Exam Period, where there are no classes and we get all of this unstructured time to study), I had the opportunity to watch the musical RENT, which a few of my good friends were acting, singing, and dancing in. It’s a poignant story about young artists who live in New York and whose lives are all affected to some extent by HIV/AIDS. Read more about it here. I’m always amazed by my peers’ talents, but this show took that to another level. I’ll admit that I’m not very knowledgeable regarding musicals, but I very much enjoyed this one. It was definitely the best show that I’ve seen on campus. I don’t think there are any videos up right now, but I’ll make sure I post one as soon as they go up on YouTube.

Here's me and two of my friends, Mel and Yasmeen, who stole the show in RENT!

Here’s me and two of my friends, Mel and Yasmeen, who stole the show in RENT!

The semester is coming to an end, and I wish it wasn’t because this means I’m that much closer to senior spring. I’ve actually been feeling pretty sick the past few days. I had a 20-page final paper to write with a 102.4 fever. That sounds absurd, right? I don’t know where it came from. It happened so suddenly and I just felt deathly ill. Luckily, the teaching staff of this course that I’m taking was incredibly understanding and gave me an extension on the deadline. This way, I was able to sleep instead of trying to get creative juices flowing. Looking back on the earlier portion of the week, it’s actually kind of hilarious because I can’t describe what I felt like in any other way than feeling like a vegetable. My head was heavy and thinking was so incredibly difficult. I’m not at 100% yet, but definitely a huge improvement from what I was feeling on Monday/Tuesday. And the paper’s in!

I’m far from done, as I have an exam and another paper due by the 21st (aka the last day of Exam Period). Unfortunate! I haven’t stayed on campus this late since freshman year. Everyone leaves here at different times for a variety of reasons–some people leave as soon as their last commitment on campus is over, whereas some people choose to stay a few extra days to hang out. Reading Period and Finals are interesting because the level of difficulty and rigor can vary from semester to semester, from concentration to concentration. I’ve had a semester where I had to take 3 exams, and others where I have only had papers and projects. I’ve also had two exams on consecutive days, or like this semester, have one paper due and then literally over a week until my next assignment or exam. I’m not sure which I like better. It’s always a tradeoff though. For some, getting everything over with is the ideal, even if it means a super high-stress couple of days. For others, dragging everything out over the full two week period and staying until the last day is desired. This is the first year in a while that I’m the last person in my room to leave. My roommate, Paul, left today, which is a full 8 days before I head home. One roommate down, 6 to go. The rest of the guys will be leaving between now and Wednesday, which then leaves me here for three days on my own…

I’m sure those three days will leave me bored and wanting to procrastinate, so I’ll make sure I post once more before the end of the semester!

Tags: , , , , ,

Hi everyone! I realized I never posted a proper end of the year wrap up, and time just flew by while summer completely sneaked up on me. I write to you all from Incheon International Airport after spending three amazing weeks in China and South Korea. However, I’ll backtrack before explaining how I got here.

I left campus very abruptly–actually, my finish date was the earliest it’s ever been in my three years at Harvard. You see, everyone has a different final exam schedule at the end of every semester. Reading Period is the week after classes end and before final exams begin. It is a week when things on campus quiet down a bit and when I, personally, catch up with friends. Another great thing about Reading Period that I’ve found through my experience thus far is that it’s the perfect time to take a breather. While academic commitments (aside from studying, of course) slow down, many extracurricular club events and House formals occur right before or at the beginning of the week, so those are two things I always look forward to. Apart from the fun, what do students do academically during Reading Period? Some folks spend the week writing papers while others are studying for exams or collaborating on group projects…or it’s a combination of all three. How much fun you can have depends on what your workload is like. Some people have a heavier Reading Period, while others have a more difficult Final Exam Period.  For me, I love not having any scheduled classes and being able to structure my days around studying. Freshman fall, I had three exams and had no choice but to stay on campus until the very last day possible because that’s when my final was scheduled. However, the end of each semester does vary. This year, I was able to leave so early because I only had one final exam and the rest of my courses’ assessments were papers and projects that were due before the end of Reading Period.

After going home, I was incredibly busy. I was only able to spend five days there. Between spending time with my family and friends, as well as packing for my trip, the week definitely flew by. I mentioned in my last post that I would be spending part of the summer hosting a new documentary series about how different cultures affect education and studying. Myself and three other students from Harvard were chosen to travel to different countries, visiting schools and universities and interviewing students from various age groups. While the four of us got to move around together for a bit, we split off into pairs. We all started in Korea, moved to China together, and then Jenny (my partner) and I covered China more extensively as Bryan and Lilli (the other two Harvard students) left for Israel halfway through our trip. For the last three weeks, I visited many different places in China and Korea. Our traveling allowed us to observe studying and education from vastly different perspectives. For example, we visited some of the best universities in both countries, as well as tutoring academies, and even rural elementary and high schools, to name a few. As for now, we’re all heading off to do our own things for the summer. In August, Jenny and I will be traveling to India. We’ve also heard (and are really hoping) we might go to France. I never thought I’d be doing anything like this, but I’ve been really lucky and it’s been an incredible experience.

Taking promotional photos for the documentary!

Taking promotional photos for the documentary!

I’ll be home for 3 weeks before heading back to campus to proctor for Harvard Summer School and do some independent research in the undergraduate labs. I’m incredibly excited to sleep in my own bed and have some home cooked meals. Living out of a suitcase and in a hotel room for the past 3 weeks has been pretty difficult just because it’s so hard to get comfortable doing so. Next time I write, I’ll be back in the States! Also, I’ll be writing throughout the summer, so I will do my best not to bore you all!

Tags: , , ,