No more work over Carnival

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Imagine, if you will, you are a student at one of the most rigorous, pseudo-ivy league learning institutions on the East Coast. The school’s reputation is one of all-nighters, hours of homework, and allegedly having the third most depressed student body in all of America. Now imagine that once a year, right before finals, the school turns into a fair. A four-day long celebration, complete with carnival rides, overpriced junk foods, strange school traditions, and darties to spare. Above all, it is a time of relaxation for the student body. Or at least it's supposed to be. Finally, imagine you are assigned work — one presentation, four readings, and two projects — due the Monday after the fair gets torn down. How are you supposed to enjoy the festivities with all these looming deadlines? Perhaps unsurprisingly, many Carnegie Mellon students don’t have to imagine this situation, as they lived through it last weekend.

My plea to the professors of Carnegie Mellon is a simple one: please stop assigning work over Carnival weekend. Carnival is supposed to be the last hurrah before finals season, just let the students enjoy it and plan your schedule around the four-day weekend! You may think to yourself “The workload this week is light, one assignment can’t be that bad,” but I assure you, that is what every professor is also currently thinking. The work won’t get done, and you’ll be left with students bullshitting their way through a conversation about a Shakespeare play that no one read. Or, the work will get done, and it will be bad. More grading for you, a worse grade for the student, it is a lose-lose situation, people!

And you know what? All of you professors deserve a break as well. I can only imagine that you love grading finals as much as we love taking them. So enjoy the weather, take your kids out on carnival rides, and just, for everyone’s sake, cut the students a break with the homework. Please and thank you.