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Reading days and salad days

Ruchi Asher

Issue date: 12/4/09 Section: Worst Case Scenario
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Senior year was supposed to be a massive power trip. Finally, after three years of gruelling labor and complaining about our beloved Case Western Reserve University, this last year was supposed to be huge joke. Finally, the required classes, the weed-outs, and the pre-reqs were done. I could finally stop being nice to strange underclassmen, revelling in the knowledge that at this point, I've already met the majority of people I'm going to know by the time I leave this temperamental icebox. Rumor had it that senior year was for strutting around campus, drinking yourself into oblivion, never enjoying a sober moment, and packing in as many irresponsible decisions as possible before hitting the real world.

Let me dispel that rumor this instant: this is CWRU. And while the previous statement left me with an appropriately strange desire to bellow, "This is Sparta!" it's fairly obvious that the academic focus of this institution has long made it impossible for this campus to resemble American Pie Presents: Beta House in any way. In fact, almost counter-intuitively, our Greeks compete with each other to see which chapters can sustain the highest average GPA. The number of students involved in research makes it seem as though the university hands out lab jobs like candy canes at Christmas. Add the ridiculous stress of grad school and job applications to the mix and I'm sure more than a few seniors would agree: this school is seriously cramping our style.

The problem is, at the end of the day, I would not have it any other way. I mean really, my degree would be meaningless if it was not the product of too many all-nighters, watered by stress-tears and fertilized with the blood from poorly-aimed staplers and a million paper cuts. Seriously, instead of a reading week or revision period, we get two glorious reading days, one of which occurs too late for many students to find it useful. Still, there is some kind of sick pleasure in facing my second-to-last round of finals - the last set that graduate schools will see, in any case - here as an undergrad, knowing full well that one day, when I am sharing stories about my college days, I can boast about the brutality of this school's exam system.

Until then, for these remaining two weeks, Red Bull continues to course through our veins. We will continue to spend long nights at the library and walk a mile in the two-foot deep snow, uphill both ways, to take exams we won't remember in the long run. What we will remember are the crazy things we did and poor choices we made during exam week, driven by sleep deprivation and caffeine overdose. While that will not be the type of substance abuse that makes for a typical, party-filled senior year, it tends to be just as effective. And that's what makes us proud CWRU students. Best of luck to those seniors graduating this semester, and good luck to all you crazy Case-ers!
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In This Issue

Cross Country

  • Women finish 15th in nation; Simpson has best finish in university history


  • A conversation with Christina Mastrangelo
  • CWRU students among thousands at SOA protest
  • CWRU's Great Lakes Energy Institute honored as "Center of Excellence"
  • Relay for Life 2010 kicks off with recruitment fair
  • Smart holiday spending tips
  • USG Minutes

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Reid Anderson

Sex and Dating

  • Are you tired?


  • All-American, UAA honorees back
  • Building starts on Mather Park
  • Dukes, Criss keep grapplers strong in the middle
  • For Spartans, Allegheny is splitsville
  • Revolving door is no good for the Browns
  • So far, it's been so good for women's basketball


  • Early Ending: Spartans eliminated from playoffs by Trine University

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Worst Case Scenario

  • Reading days and salad days


  • Column on smoking misinformed
  • Copenhagen summit may not be effective
  • Divisive politics dilute meaningful discourse
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Junior year abroad - wait, a whole year?
  • Take some time to earn your coal
  • What are your plans for winter break?


  • Director Peter Jackson discusses film adaptation of The Lovely Bones
  • M.U.S.I.C. assembles talented group of musicians for 24-hour recital
  • Surviving the home stretch
  • The Buzz
  • The Observer's choices for the best books of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best films of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best music of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best video games of 2009
  • The Spectrum Drag Ball
  • tUnE-yArDs' debut record merges folk music with noise
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