Friday, December 19, 2014

Finals and the "Reverse Star Wars Effect"

 After giving many finals, here is an observation with regards to the beginning and end of a typical semester. Each one has a predictable reverse Star Wars effect.

A semester begins with loads of smiling students who all clap with eagerness, just like the end of Star Wars.  "Golly," says every instructor, "look at all of these shiny young people, this will be a great semester."
Class meetings pass, and just before midterms, everyone seems to buckle down, paying close attention to lecture and demos. Notes are taken, attendance is good.
 Shortly after midterm grades, A limited number of students stay focused while others start to goof off or focus attention on games or other stuff, attendance drops off, assignments are missed and at least one guy gets sick...for three weeks.
The end of the semester arrives. Project due dates pass, assignments are missed. Notes? What notes? Computers crash, files explode and the bodies of once smiling and clapping students lay strewn under tables, at desks, and the final brings out the war zone of time management, just like The beginning of Star Wars.
Happens every defies logic, I tell ya! So, the reverse Star Wars Effect repeats and repeats and repeats and ....

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