Classes ending, students stress

For eight sleepless nights, many UM students will be sipping Starbucks into the wee hours of the morning as they cram for final exams and make last minute portfolio corrections.
“I’m so stressed! I’m very stressed,” junior Katia Clerzaud said. “I have to put a six-minute film together with a partner for my film class and I have to study for a geological science class that covers a lot of information.”
For Clerzaud, the film is due next Friday, while the geological science exam is only three days later. In addition, Clerzaud has two other finals to study for.
Formatting for tests varies depending on the professor, department and subject matter.
“I chose a format that it is comprehensive and covers a little bit of all the areas discussed in class without being too concentrated in any one particular area,” Professor Bonnie Rigg from the art and art history department said. “The students usually do very well with this type of exam – there’s a little something for everyone.”
“If a student is deficient in one area that we have studied, there’s a little leeway for improvement on other parts of the test,” Rigg said.
Despite having four exams in a span of two days, freshman Ryan Tominac is finding it easy to cope with the added pressures that exams can bring.
“I’m not stressing too much because my professors have been giving out pretty good study guides,” Tominac said.
Some students disagree.
“I’m stressing for chemistry because everyone who has taken the test says it’s really hard,” sophomore Jean-Paul Talamas said.
Dubbed “reading days,” students have four days prior to the commencement of finals to prepare gradually for the exams.
But will students take advantage of the allotted time?
“Big time,” Tominac said. “I’m going to re-read assignments and key in on what the major concepts are for each class.”
Pre-final festivities begin today.
Multicultural Student Affairs and Stanford & Hecht are among the sponsors of Finals Fiesta, a celebration recognizing the end of the semester, from 4-6 p.m. at the bridge between Hecht and Stanford residential colleges.
Free food will be available and a DJ will provide entertainment.
So what will students do when the finals are over?
“I’m going to eat and hang out with friends,” Clerzaud said.
“I’ll just feel really relieved that it’s all over,” Talamas said.
“I’m taking a plane and going home to Detroit,” Tominac said.
“I’m sure it’s more stressful for the students taking the test than it is for me,” said Dean Edward Pfister from the School of Communication. “The stressful time for me is after the tests are given because all the tests need to be graded and all the grades have to be averaged within a fairly short period.”
“It’s the time when I’m able to judge the level of my success,” Pfister said. “To be able to write on a student essay, ‘Wow! You got it’ is a wonderful fulfillment.”

Paul Fajardo can be contacted at

December 6, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.