The start of December is always a reminder for me that Christmas will be coming up. However, this is also the time of final exams. This week was the first week of finals. Compared to finals week at Drexel, I feel a bit more hassle-free, given that my exams are nicely and evenly spread out between this week and the next. However, the studying aspect is no different. I’m still studying more and sleeping a bit less. The library at Drexel during finals week is always very busy with little to none available seat or places to study. Surprisingly, the library is jammed packed with students. Thus, I can arrive a bit early for an exam and study in a quiet setting, which is helpful.
The exam policies here are stricter for a number of reasons. The first reason is that if a student fails her or her final for a class, she or he will automatically receive a failing grade for the course. Thus, in a way, the other components, attendance, homework assignments, appear to not be important since a student can have a high average before taking the exam but will receive a failing grade if he or she fails the final. Moreover, students are required to retake the exam later in following year. One of my Spanish friends told me, most times if a student fails an exam, his or her tuition increases. I cannot image the added pressure college students have in Madrid. Another reason is due to the structure of the final exam. Each final exam must include a written aspect. Finally, each final must be weighted for at least 50% of the student’s grade. For one of my classes, my final exam is worth 70%.
I noticed that, near the mall in my neighborhood, at night, there are more festivities to see, such as, a Christmas shop and rides for children. Almost every day of this week, I walked by the festivities without being able to partake or get a closer look. I wanted to see what was set up in my neighborhood before I absolutely had to study for my other finals. I’m happy I found the time to do so and with friends. The picture for this blog post is of a platform of various Christmas trees and polar bears to resemble the North Pole. Behind it is a mini Ferris wheel designed for small children. Others activities were a small carousel ride also designed for small children, a popcorn stand, a walk-in candy shop and a Christmas shop that was recently built just for the holiday season.