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Worst Case Scenario

Syllabi Sorrows

Ruchi Asher

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Worst Case Scenario
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Syllabus week: supposedly the most amazing, unproductive week of the semester. At best, the first day of classes is followed by Tipsy Tuesday, Wet Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and an epic weekend, full of toasts to the end of summer. At the very least, syllabus week is the university's gift to the student social sphere. Really, the second week of classes should be the first week of real work, complete with post-syllabus week headaches and nausea. Week one is supposed to be a raucous catharsis, an informal transition from the carefree days of summer to the subdued, stressful semester ahead.

We, the lucky students at Case Western Reserve University, know of no such tradition. CWRU is so generous as to not waste the first week of classes on syllabi. On the contrary, many a Case student has started drawing up study schedules and even completing reading and homework assignments the night before classes start. It is simply tragic that the last official night of summer was not wasted on back-to-back marathons of The Office and America's Next Top Model. No, instead, the last night of holiday, for several, was a practice run of the anti-social reading marathon that characterizes a normal, mid-semester-like evening at CWRU. This year (and every year) the university so generously chose welcome us back to campus with an intimidating amount of homework, instead of the traditional, stress-free gift of syllabus week. For that, we the student body, thank you.

However, I think it is time to overhaul the system. Case could use a little assistance with developing its vibrant social scene. What could be a better way to do so than by reinstating, or even enforcing the grand tradition that is syllabus week? A great place to start is by making important dates on the syllabus itself-perhaps instead of marking the first Friday of the year as a great time to get ahead on that first essay, professors should highlight Greek Life rush events, or maybe even focus on exactly which organizations on campus are handing out free food at some point in the week. Maybe instead of introductions that involve asking each student why she is taking a course, professors could focus on what brilliant method of time-wasting the student has perfected this summer.

Honestly, celebrating syllabus week could be great for the campus community. It could slow the onset of stress-based mental health disorders and although it may potentially increase the risk of damage to physical health, CWRU reputably has had greater problems with the former over the latter. Some institutionalized time-wasting would be a great way to ease first-year students into the grind that is coursework at this university. Why scare them in their first week? Besides, a little Thirsty Thursday (and other alliterative, drink-related days of the week) could go a long way in improving morale on campus-for those of us over the age of 21, of course.
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs


  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?


  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland


  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date


  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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