Yes, we all know exam time is full of stress, and for a lot of us that can translate to a bad mood, procrastination, or less-than-ideal habits… but you don’t need to spread that crap around for the rest of us. Here are some ways of struggling through exam week while still saving face — for everyone’s sake!

1. Don’t ask people at the library to watch your stuff “for a second,” and then leave for 3 hours.
No, really, our sphincter muscles are already those of a 90-year-old’s from drinking four cups of Peet’s this morning. We need to pee, so don’t blame us if we take advantage of that precious – but conveniently empty – Nalgene bottle you’ve left us to supervise.

2. Don’t take “study aids” and then proceed to make a huge racket in Main Stacks because you didn’t realize you would be yakked out of your mind.
Last year in Main Stacks we sat next to a girl in a cubicle who had obviously taken a… choice pharmaceutical… and spent several hours throwing books all over the place, scribbling like a maniac, and shaking. Yikes.

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The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting story written by an anonymous custom-essay writer. He was paid to write essays for college students who for one reason or another couldn’t or didn’t want to complete their assignments. He, of all people, brings up some critiques of university system, mostly that he feels it is too evaluation-based rather than actual learning-based.

Overworked UC Berkeley students might do well to learn some of his amazing speed-writing skills, demonstrated in his ability to write a 75-page paper in a mere 48 hours.

In any case, he may not have all the answers to fix things, nor does he necessarily have the full picture of the students he was assisting, not really taking into account the difficulties that professors might have had proving that the students were cheating, along with the probably mistaken assumption that he would find out if any of them ever got caught, but the piece is an interesting read nonetheless.

Image Source: Stian Eikeland under Creative Commons
The Shadow Scholar [Chronicle]

iLIFEDon’t get us wrong–we’re all for slightly cheaper textbooks, but this whole textbook iPhone app thing just sounds like blindness waiting to happen. Or maybe it’s a great idea, since people with iPhones are pretty much incapable of focusing their attention on anything else anyway, so they might as well be productive sometimes. Or not. Meh.

So the deal is this company, CourseSmart, has had digitized textbooks available for a while now, and they just unveiled (or whatever you do to introduce e-things) e-textbooks which students will be able to access online from their iPhones or iPod Touches.  And, as with any new school-related technology, the worries of facilitated cheating are a-flyin’. What else is new? All we know is this idea sounds sort of like communism–in theory, it makes sense, but in practice it probably won’t actually catch on. (That’s totally how that one goes, right?)

Image Source: Niels van Eck under Creative Commons
Textbooks Come to the IPod  [Paper Trail]
Earlier: Avoid Textbook Price Gouging

Whenever you find yourself thinking that being a student at UC Berkeley is mediocre, like any other campus, or no big deal-why don’t you stop and think about the people who almost, but not quite, went here. People like Kevin Hart, the high school offensive lineman who cried Cal recruitment and later faced total embarrassment when Jeff Tedford revealed that he had no idea who Hart was. Or maybe you can think about Azia Kim–a girl who friends thought would attend “a community college and then (transfer) to UC-Berkeley.” Rather than live a legitimate life, however, she decided to fake enrollment at Stanford University.

Most recently, there is Omar Khan of Tesoro High School. He hacked into his school’s computer system, changed his F’s to A’s, and was only caught “when he requested a copy of his official transcript while applying to the University of California, Berkeley.” Busted! At age 18, he now faces up to 38 years in prison.

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