Dec 012004
Authors: Johnathan Kastner

Finals are approaching. You can feel their icy presence like a miniature shockwave rippling through the otherwise peaceful post- and pre-holiday air. You could look at the approaching shockwave and think, "Studying will help me be the best I can be!" This is the academic equivalent of duck and cover.

No, finals are not meant to be survived through studying. You are not alone in a class like a blossoming flower in a greenhouse. You are in a jungle of academic competition as an adorable yet delicious rodent. There are dozens to hundreds of other students, and they want your grade. Here's how to fight for it.

Method 1 – Cell Phone Car. This one is a classic, and it's so subtle you may have witnessed it and not even known. Nothing can disrupt information absorption quite as much as a cheery cell phone blaring "Who Let the Dogs Out" 60 or 70 times in a row. Duct tape said cell phone to a remote-controlled car, and whiz it around the class under the seats. Call it with a second phone, and then move it again. Every second the other students are distracted is an edge for Team You.

Counter-measure – Always keep a cat in your backpack. Release it when you spot the remote-controlled car, and the cat will instinctively chase and kill it.

Method 2 – Biological warfare. No, not the kind that gets you invaded. This is a bit of a sacrificial maneuver, but if you're already ill you might as well spin it into victory. A doctor would probably say stay home, get better and don't spread the disease. But doctors have already graduated, and they don't want company, if you catch my drift. Make sure the other students catch yours.

Counter-measure – If you have a good immune system, you can insist on driving them home, tucking them into bed and feeding them soup, or if you don't have soup, ditch them in the woods. If you don't have a good immune system, avoid them like the plague.

Method 3 – The Chatter Box. This is a team effort against a single target, preferably someone likely to rudely earn a good grade. Look for someone with glasses, a sure sign of grade-stealing genius if cartoons are to be trusted. For a Chatter Box, you'll need one person behind Glasses manning the chair-kicking, two people nearby to spend the entire class whispering loudly, and at least one to intrude uncomfortably on the arm rest. Glasses assumes the fetal position, and your intrusive nuisance has been successful.

Counter-measure – A good strong perimeter, established by good strong body odor.

Now you're ready to combat the wide world and seize the grade you so richly deserve. Finals week is a stressful, trying time, and you can maximize this to your advantage by following the above tips. It's not about being at your best – it's about making sure no one else is at theirs.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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