What’s the deal with dead week?

Staff Writer: Lauren Bird

Traditionally, the week before the week of finals is called dead week. The name comes from the notion that the week is supposed to be free of homework so that students have time to study for their finals.

However, some students associate dead week with the fact that it leaves them “dead” at the end of the week, especially when professors assign papers or try to get caught up before the end of the semester.

To be fair, the Friday before finals week is scheduled to be a review day for students to ask any questions in their classes and go over the material that will be on the finals.

How busy a student’s dead week might be depends on their classes, professors, study schedules and extracurricular activities.

Mark McCarthy, a Dordt history professor, tries to live up to the “dead” part of dead week.

“I try very hard not to have any major assignments or exams due the week before exams,” said McCarthy. “I have done it before though, and that was when the class asked me if they could move a particular assignment back a few days and that pushed it into dead week. In terms of my students this semester, I do not have any major assignments or exams due.”

Students are thankful for professors who think along the same lines as McCarthy. The absence of extra assignments means more time for studying. Nathaniel Dyett, a sophomore engineering major, plans to use dead week to its full potential.

“This semester I will not be having as many materials due compared to previous semesters,” said Dyett. “However, with the schedule I made for myself in order to prep for exams, the coming week looks daunting if I truly stick to my schedule.”

Other students are not so lucky to be free of extra assignments. Freshman Emily Postma has found that she will have other things to do during dead week besides studying.

“I would love to be free of assignments during dead week,” said Postma. “It would help me since I have four exams I need to study for and about which I am already feeling stressed. I think the extra time I would have would not be wasted.”

Whichever situation you happen to be faced with, a lot of homework or a lot of study time, dead week tends to be stressful and busy for most students. The most one can do is hope their professors have the same mindset about dead week as McCarthy.

“For the most part I remember dead week as a student and I appreciated it quite a bit,” said McCarthy. “Therefore I try and honor it as best I can.”

Survive dead week and good luck during finals week!

 

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