Final Exam Suggestions

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.
Define management. Define technology. How do they relate? Why? Create a generalized algorithm to optimize all managerial decisions. Assuming an 1130 CPU supporting 50 terminals, with each terminal to run your algorithm, design the communications interface and all necessary control programs.
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.
[Disclaimer: These aren't original with me. I received them as a forward from an unknown author, and I only edited them and applied them to the situation at BJU. If someone can attribute them, please let me know!]


Written by in: Academics,Humor,Uncategorized |

Whooping Cough

Most of my readers probably already know about the outbreak of pertussis (more commonly known as "whooping cough") on the campus of BJU. At last count something like 40 students have it and nearly 100 are in isolation waiting for test results. On Friday (11/30) the administration announced that as a precaution they would end the semester a week early. 

Instead of a full week of classes this week, we'll have class just Monday and Tuesday and Finals will begin on Wednesday — just 5 days after the announcement. Needless to say things are kind of crazy around here. They've done an outstanding job of managing the situation and communicating with the faculty, staff, and student body, but even so, you can only imagine what it's like on campus, especially at Barge (campus hospital) and UMA (medical offices across the street which are related to BJU). 

As of this posting, the latest news is here.

So far, we're both healthy, though we did both get the vaccine and antibiotics because we both have been exposed to it. We're virtually certain that neither of us have it, but even if we do, after 5 days on the antibiotic we'll not be contagious. And, theoretically, that should prevent us from really getting it ourselves, too.

If you've stuck with me this far be sure to read my next post for my suggestions on how to adapt final exams. 


Written by in: Academics,Personal |


When critiquing people or their ideas with which I disagree, I usually try to be as reserved and objective as possible. However, as I read a Fox News article today, my only response was, “this person is a nutcase!” (Feel free to insert the negative adjective of your choice instead of “nutcase.”)

A British woman who had an abortion 10 years ago and was later sterilized did so because she believes pregnancy is bad for the environment, the London Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Toni Vernelli, 35, hopes her actions would ensure her carbon footprint would be kept to a minimum, the Mail reported. The environmental advocate also sees having children as an egotistical act.

“Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet,” Vernelli told the Mail, adding she believes bringing new life into the world only adds to the problem.

Seems like she has things a little backwards. In the first chapter of God’s Written Revelation, we find:

Genesis 1:26-28 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.  28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

It makes me think of Romans 1, where Paul writes,

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things (Romans 1:21-23).

This certainly seems like someone refusing to honor God and being “futile in their thinking” and thus becoming foolish. Indeed, only 2 verses later, the inspired writer continues to describe them as ones who “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25).


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