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Finals Week: A Survivor’s Tale

I am only one of the countless students who have survived the horor known as finals week. And yet I will add my tale to what countless others have already tweeted and facebooked (we have verbed facebook, haven’t we?). Perhaps you’ve seen this lovely depiction that utilizes the awesomeness of polar bears to illustrate common feelings about finals week.

Yes. I got home from my last final today and slept for about two and a half hours. And then I lay in bed for about another hour, just because I didn’t want to move. What can I say except that I like cuddling with my stuffed animals Araynia and Archie way more than a text book. Anyway, I’m still in a recovery state, and not super capable of forming coherent paragraphs. Which means for this post we get to go bullet style. No rhyme or reason. Just stuff about finals week. Here we go!

  • I’m capable of coming up with some really, really bad mnemonic devices. I was studying with a friend, trying to memorize different symbols in the Book of Revelation. We were trying to think of a way to remember that the twelve gates represented the twelve tribes of Israel (as opposed to the twelve apostles). I suggested that since tribe and gate both have four letters it would be easy to remember. Yeah, tribe has five letters…
  • Sometimes bad mnemonics are actually more effective for remembering things. Laughing about my silly letter miscount was probably the most fun we had all evening, and therefor that was probably the most memorable thing we studied.
  • It’s really sad when laughing about that becomes the highlight of the evening.
  • I don’t normally get test anxiety. But I was so freaked out about one exam that I was having trouble sleeping the night before. In fact, during my tossing and turning I managed to be thrashing about so hard that I whacked my head on the wall. It’s ok though. Neither the thud of my head hitting the wall nor the moan that escaped my lips managed to wake my roommate up.
  • I can’t be completely sure, but I think the moan probably sounded more or less like what a dying wildebeest sounds like.
  • Probably I didn’t wake my roommate up because she wasn’t asleep in our room. She had fallen asleep in the living room while studying. Like so:

  • I frequently try to bribe myself with food. That’s how I convince myself to study.
  • I also tend to justify eating a lot more in general.
  • One night I was trying to bribe myself with food. I was planning to take a study break and get high on Koolaid before finishing my studying. I got home and was too tired to even make myself Koolaid.
  • Most of the funny things about finals week that I intended to blog about aren’t actually that funny now that I’ve gotten some sleep. That sort of you-had-to-be-there thing.
  • You know you’ve hit a bad point when doing dishes suddenly becomes a fun and anticipated break from studying.
  • I actually do kind of enjoy that camaraderie that comes from the shared misery of finals week.
  • Right now I’m procrastinating doing cleaning.
  • White boards make studying 47.3% more enjoyable.
  • Coloring is a great study break. Some people get really into and it and create lovely pictures like so:

  • Other people are like me. They intend to draw something nice, but are so beat up from finals they just end up scribbling anyway. Like so:

  • Quick, somebody analyze it so we can send it off to an abstract art museum.
  • There seems to end up being a lot of laughing about things that aren’t actually that funny during finals week.

To those of you still taking finals, best of luck. Meanwhile I’ll be enjoying my freedom. My mom asked if I was planning to do anything fun after finals. I responded, “Yes. I’m planning to not take finals.” At this point pretty much everything else is fun. My name is Kyra. And this is a true story.

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Dangling Modifiers Made Fun

I decided to throw the word fun in the title because the instant I put a grammar term up there I decreased the odds that people would actually read this by approximately 89.7% (which is a very statistical statistic). Some of you may have clicked this just because such a juxtaposition of the word fun with grammar concepts seems like an oxymoron. I’ll be the first to say that I find grammar somewhat interesting. I’ll also be the first to say that I’m incredibly biased on the matter because my chosen field of study is the English language.

But dangling modifiers are fun. Basically the idea behind them is that based on the placement of a descriptive phrase, you might not be able to tell which object the phrase is talking about. For example: She handed the rattle to the baby that was made of plastic. Is the rattle made of plastic? Or is the baby?

Or: Having been mutilated by the printer, the clerk threw the mangled cards away. Did the printer mutilate the cards or did it mutilate the clerk?

You get the idea. I’m not going to go into great detail on what exactly they are or how to fix them lest I become boring. If you’re DYING to read all about it I suggest this link. What I will do is illustrate some sentences with dangling modifiers for you. Prepare to be blown away by my mad art skills. That’s right. I have the Crayola 120 pack, and I’m not afraid to use it!

"The police arrested a six-foot-tall man with a mustache weighing 300 pounds." That is one heavy mustache! Probably made it hard to flee the crime scene.

You can see herds of elephants flying over Africa.

"An old cigarette advertisement showed a man on a horse smoking a cigarette." Poor horse is going to end up with lung cancer.

"Having rotted in the damp cellar, my brother was unable to sell any of the potatoes." Rotting in a cellar is a bad way to go. And it does seriously impede your potato selling ability.

"My sister left with her date wearing a pink dress and matching heels." I... do not even have a snarky comment for this one.

"She wore a colorful scarf over her shoulders, which she bought in Mexico." For those of you who can't understand the speech bubble either because it's too small or you can't read Spanish, the guy is saying, "Do you want to buy shoulders? They come with a free scarf!"

See, I told you it would be fun! You probably didn’t believe me. Anyway that’s pretty much all I have for this post. So from now on be careful not to dangle your modifiers!