In my last post I reported on the outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) and how it has caused the administration to shorten the semester.
They're trying to be flexible and accommodate the students as much as possible.
I suggested that since the students will be unable to fully prepare for the exams, and since the exam periods have been shortened from 70 minutes to 60 minutes, they should consider shortening the exams to one or two key questions that summarize the semester. I even provided some examples to help them get started (see below).
What do you think — will they take my suggestions and use them?
Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day, concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political, economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.
You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been inspected. You have 15 minutes.
Twenty-five hundred riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.
Create life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture as compared to life as we now know it, with special attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your thesis.
Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum. You will find a piano under your seat.
Based on your degree of knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses II, Gregory of Nicea, Hammurabi. Support your evaluations with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate references. It is not necessary to translate.
Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.
The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed in a box on your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In ten minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action you feel is appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.
Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last question.
There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World War III. Report at length on its socio-political effects, if any.
Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your position.
Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of the impact of the development of mathematics on science.
Sketch the development of human thought; estimate its significance. Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.
Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.
Define universe; give three examples.