It’s that time of year and I can’t help but wonder why I do some of the work that I have to for college. So much of it seems to be simply proving my knowledge and regurgitating information. Even the long papers for classes rarely teach me anything (that is, anything other than how to write paper efficiently). One would think that if the purpose of a class were to stimulate learning then the assignments that make up that class would be inherently linked to its purpose: one would think they would teach you something.

Maybe I’m simply not recognizing the learning that is occurring below my cognizant level. Or, maybe the purposes of finals is not to further learning, but to judge the learning that has occurred in the last 16 weeks. Either way when I find myself halfway through a final exam in Greek and Roman Art and all I can think of is how I just need to linguistically vomit up my knowledge onto the page so that I can prove that I know the material something is wrong. So long as schools and classes are truly about learning finals should partake in that too.

Final exams, papers, presentations, any form of assessment I can think of, they all should force you to push the boundaries of your knowledge. They ought to allow you to critically examine that which you learned during the semester. They should provide for reflection on where you came from and where you are in the present. If a final is simply a reiteration of knowledge then its not doing its job.

Now I will go back to slaving away and work toward finishing the 22 pages of paper writing that I have to do between now and next week.