Posted by: brian | May 8, 2007

Yay! My final was canceled!

I had a final in my American Cities class today. At 1:30. So I’ve spent the last few days trying to cram as much as possible in to my brain about public policy, local government fragmentation, local public financing, racial and ethnic segregation, concentrated poverty, third-world urbanization & its attendant slums, and urbanization in China. I got to the room a few minutes early, and everyone was trying to spend their last precious minutes studying. (*That seems silly to me. Around 12:00, I realized I’d reach saturation, and wasn’t going to learn anything more on the matter. So I took a nap. If I don’t know it by 10 minutes before the exam, I’m not going to know it.)

So, 1:30 rolled around, and the instructor (Ed) hadn’t shown up. The guy’s never late. Plus, he’s the associate dean of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. He’s not a flake. So what’s the deal? After five minutes, people were getting very loud, and throwing out ideas like, “I wonder if he’ll let us skip one question to make up for the time” and “How long do you think we should wait around?”

10 minutes, still no prof. WTF? This is the final exam! It’s not like it could easily be rescheduled.

15 minutes. Ok, now I think I’m about to leave. Some people wondered if something had happened to Ed – traffic accident, or something like that.

17 minutes: The door opens, and Ed steps into the doorway. Now, the entire semester, I’ve never seen him look really upset. He’s typically easy going & in good spirits. Today, though, he seemed preoccupied, & was rather abrupt. He told us the final is canceled, and that he’ll grade us on what we’ve done to date, and have a good summer – and then he disappeared again. Nobody knows what happened, but one student who had seen him about a half hour before the exam said he seemed to not be having a good day. (Hang on, I think I need some Scotch tape for that infinitive. Ha!)

That makes 2 finals in 2 semesters that have been canceled. Of course, the other one for a rather different reason (but that’s a story for another time).

SO, the upshot is: I was going into the final with a solid A- in the class. I don’t know how I did on the last paper (we were supposed to get those back today), but I’m pretty confident that it was in the A to A- range. The final was the one thing I was worried about, & that’s been removed from the equation. Yay me!


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