Katie Cerulle ’22
This year’s course schedule at Trinity looked different than in years prior. Classes were designated by professors to be either a 10-week course, where finals take place the week before Thanksgiving or the regular 13-week course, where finals take place around the middle of December. There are pros and cons to both class lengths; the 10-week course is condensed which quickens the pace of learning, but the final exams happen while students are still on campus. The 13-week classes are the usual length which helps students better manage their time because it is a familiar length, but all of the final exams are taken at home. The Tripod spoke with Nick Fitzpatrick ’22, who offered his opinions about the difference between these two class lengths.
We first discussed the schedule changes with the 10-week format, specifically the longer class times. Fitzpatrick stated, “Personally, I thought the extended classes were alright at an hour and fifteen minutes, but an hour and forty minutes was just too long to stay focused for, especially in an online setting.” Additionally, he stated that the COVID precautions made the interactions already so much less meaningful, thus the longer time frame was even harder to deal with.
Nick also commented on the changed schedule. “Because I took four 10-week courses, The week before leaving for Thanksgiving was very stressful for me. I think the shortened classes also affected the professors, as they were not totally sure how to assess students when the course was shortened, so I ended up having much more work than I anticipated which led to a lot of hair-pulling in the final week of classes.” This is a common story among students, that the condensed schedule of 10-week classes made finals week come up much faster than anticipated.
Finally, we talked about how to better prepare for finals that are online, and Nick provided his valuable two cents. “Personally, I actually feel that I perform better when exams are in person because I know I will not have any resources with me,” he said. “I am forced to study more thoroughly, there is less overhead when you are just handed a paper test versus having to take photos or scan it in, it is just more familiar and comfortable, and there are no distractions around you.”