I am officially a college graduate. Friday the 18th was the last day I could call myself a BYU student. Now I'm a BYU alumnus. The reality of that distinction hasn't hit me yet, probably since it's still the weekend. But after Christmas, when the cold, dark days of unemployment arrive, I'll know what it's like to be a grownup.
Final went all right, all things considered. Two of my classes wrapped up before finals week, so I didn't have to worry about them. Conservation Biology, about which I was the most excited, ended up being kind of a drag. It was really for all the wildlife range management and environmental science kids. We still learned some cool things, but as a pre-med student I was definitely out of place. I took the class to learn more about climate change and sustainability, but we barely glanced over that at the end, and by then I had lost a lot of interest.
Cell Biology, which ended up being the biggest thorn in my side, ended on Monday, when I turned in a nasty take home final in which I had to dissect three scientific papers about obscure cellular processes like clathrin coated pit formation and epithelial mesenchymal transition . . . a real snooze let me tell you. The teacher was pretty cool and I learned a lot of interesting stuff, but the weekly problem sets caused me a lot of unnecessary stress. It was nice to get that class over with.
Biochemistry, which is by far the lamest class I've had at BYU (and that includes Humanities 201) was a joke. The professor never taught us anything in class, and I hardly ever did the reading. I took the last midterm for the class before finals week and got a 100 on it. It would've been more impressive if I hadn't figured out how my teacher writes his tests. He basically uses a big question bank because he's too lazy to write new questions, so if you memorize all the homework, quiz and sample test questions, you'll know 80% of the answers on the tests. His final was the same way. I took it in 15 minutes and got a 93 with minimal studying.
My organic chemistry lab, which was supposed to be the bane of my existence, according to most students, ended up being a delightful breeze. Sure the lab write-ups were tedious and the quizzes annoying, but the professor liked me and I pretty much rocked in that class. It ended with a scheduled final on Thursday morning.
Evolutionary Biology, which was supposed to be one of my favorite classes, ended up being a disappointment. I learned a lot, and it was interesting, but my professor's style started to grate on me and my classmates. He was always soapboxing about how lame anyone is who doesn't believe in evolution. He often got carried away with tangential diatribes that really killed the mood in the class. The real kicker is that his exams didn't really reflect an understanding of the material we covered. In order to make them difficult my professor would include lots of obscure and esoteric questions, and if a question was poorly worded or there were multiple possible answers, he refused to admit he'd made a mistake. The man is awesome outside of the classroom, but his class was really irritating. It was by far the hardest final to study for because there was so much material and we had lost our motivation to care. Walking out that final was definitely a satisfying feeling. It not only marked the end to an obnoxious class, it marked the end of an exhausting and challenging semester.
So now that I'm a graduate and have some time on my hands, I think I want to catch up on every book I've wanted to read but haven't had the time to. In that regard, it feels like my education is just beginning.
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