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Life at Vandy: Finals Week

Posted by on Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Academics, Art, College of Arts and Science, Exams, Family, Finals, Studying, Summer.

Ever wondered what finals week entails at Vanderbilt? This semester, I am taking six courses: Sex and Society, Health Care Policy, Econometrics, Junior Honors Economics’ Research, Construction of Reality, and Early Renaissance Florence. All these classes had either examinations or research papers due during finals week.

Here’s what my finals’ timeline looks like for the Spring 2017 semester!

April 18, Tuesday: A 15 minute final presentation on Raphael’s The Portraits of Agnolo and Maddalena Strozzi Doni, in front of my Early Renaissance Florence class. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it involved detailed analyses of these paintings, especially considering the Mona Lisa‘s substantial influence on them. Even though I am not an Art History major, I enjoyed stepping out of my academic comfort zone as I’d never taken any classes in this department.

In summary, the Doni were one of Florence’s high profile couples, and they wanted to use their art collection to show off their status in Florentine society (hey, I got THE Raphael to paint my portrait!!!) I swear I was more eloquent in class.

April 24, Monday: Final papers due for my Sex and Society class and Early Renaissance Florence class. The final paper for the Early Renaissance Florence class was basically a more polished and written version of my presentation, but things like citation and formatting take more time than you’d imagine.

For my Sex and Society class, I had to submit a final research paper on Region, Religion, and Sex Education. This was a group project, and it involved surveying Vandy students. We got 301 responses, and we analyzed the impact of region, religion, and sex education (or lack thereof) on the sexual behaviors and preferences of Vandy students. We also submitted a research poster, my first!


April 25, Tuesday: No finals on this day, but I had two great study breaks! In the morning, I got to cuddle with a cute therapy dog, Lily, who was brought by the Career Center to comfort tired students.

As part of the Honor Council’s executive board, I got to plan and organize a study break, which meant distributing coffee and cookies to students cramming at night.


April 27, Thursday: The final for my Econometrics’ class. This was a non-cumulative final which tested only two chapters, but it was still a LOT of material to cover. The final tested me on maximum likelihood estimation, logit/probit models, time series, and forecasting models. It was a two hour final, and I was so relieved when it was over. This class was supposed to be the most rigorous one for me this semester, but my Art History class takes those honors, surprisingly!

The take home exam for my Construction of Reality class was due this day as well, so I couldn’t really rest after my Econometrics’ final. I was relaxed because it was a take home final, and we could use any resource under the sun as long as we cited it. The final asked me questions about transhumanism, the Matrix, and the brain’s ability to distort reality. They encouraged me to think unconventionally and think hard. This has been my favorite class this semester and at Vanderbilt so far, so if you can take a class with Professor Randolph Blake, don’t miss the opportunity to do so!

April 28, Friday: I had to force myself to get the motivation to complete an extra credit assignment for Econometrics, which would add 3.5% on top of my final grade in the class. That is HUGE in terms of extra credit. It was too lucrative a bonus to ignore, and I had to use computer programming, more specifically Python, to finish it.

The summary of my time with Python.

May 4, Thursday: Yup, my next final isn’t until May 4 (a.k.a. Star Wars’ Day, so may the force be with me!), giving me plenty of time to procrastinate. I will have my final for Health Care Policy, which is thankfully non-cumulative. It covers Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the Nash equilibrium in malpractice claims. I will also submit my research proposal (~10-15 pages) for my honors thesis in Economics, and then I’m done!

May 5, Friday: My movers are coming.

May 6, Saturday: I’m flying to Atlanta and then to Delhi to reunite with this cutie!


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