To be completely fair, my finals we not very difficult (at least compared to what some other students are doing right now). After a pretty heavy trimester in terms of workload, my finals consisted of two non-cumulative tests/quizzes on the last day of class and a take home final that I could work on for 6 days. So I'm not actually complaining about being stressed. But for the people who are under some pressure, there are some ready-made Carleton traditions that help everyone unwind.
1. Free bagels, coffee, and back massages in the library on the first day of reading days. NOTHING better.
2. Late Night Trivia.
THIS is something I haven't done until this term, and now I'm kicking myself for never having done so. The rules are here so I won't bore you with explaining them all, but here's a quick summary:
The DJs of KRLX (Carleton's radio station) play music and ask questions for four hours while different teams try to rack up points. You can win points by guessing the name/artist of the song playing, or by getting the DJs questions before the song is over and calling these answers int he "The Gods". The LNT Gods answer all the calls in a room in Sayles, keep track of people's point, etc. The questions are not easy, normal trivia questions, but questions like "If Duke, Snake, Scarlet, and Rip Cord all went to the different comic strip versions of the Pit, which states would they have visited?" The questions can be insanely hard or stupid, but trying to get the answer before the song is over is always entertaining. Another big way teams can rack up points is by bribing the Gods and bringing them things they want. They keep a list of their desired bribes, which included (this year) food from Sayles, funny limericks, dramatic readings of poems, the bust of Schiller, random Olaf students, new pants, etc. Basically, it's four hours of running around and feeling a little crazy. But it definitely pays off because my team came in SECOND and won this gigantic cake, among many other prizes.
Sorry it's half eaten, I didn't whip out my camera in time and we all know how much everyone likes cakes.
3. The Silent Dance Party, which I have yet to participate in. Everyone downloads the same music playlist that circulates over email and puts it on their iPod/music playing device of their choice, and at the exact same moment, on the first floor of the Libe, everyone hits play and starts dancing. I plan to SDP at least once before I leave Carleton because it always sounds fun/awkward/a right of passage, but I always seem to be busy. I have seen the dance party move around campus though and it does look funny.
4. Late Night Breakfast/ the Primal Scream
This happens on the last night of Reading Days, aka the night before the first finals start. At 10 oclock this night, wherever you happen to be, everyone goes outside and screams at the top of their lungs to get out all the remaining stress/energy/angst/excitement etc. It's extremely therapeutic. For Late Night Breakfast, a bunch of the profs and staff get together at the East dining hall and serve all the students breakfast food for free! It's always fun to see the prof whose paper you've been working on for the past 15 hours serve you a nice big plate of french toast, eggs, and bacon. There are always little toys scattered around the dining hall too, and this year there were a bunch of random plastic hats. People tend to collect them.
This ^^ is actually Paul Thiboutot, the Dean of Admissions. Always nice to see his smiling face, especially when he has waffles!
That's all for now. With finals behind me I'm off to warmer places for spring break! Hope you all are enjoying the beginnings of spring!