Finals and Futility

Poor Beth, she certainly does suffer from a severe case of self-imposed stress. Her freshman year was coming to a close, and that meant Beth had to face her second set of finals, and that meant she had to deal with an unbearable amount of pressure, from herself. This semester could have been significantly easier. Every class was either an introductory course, an elective, or part of her core curriculum. I guess she thought a challenge had to come from somewhere. That would explain her choice in some of her “easy” classes.

I’d like to avoid calling her a drama queen, but considering the panicked fervor she forced herself into, I’m finding it incredibly difficult not doing so.

It was the Tuesday of finals week. Beth was studying in the school’s library when her good, caring and sympathetic friend Susie found her, alone, her face locked on to a computer.

“Hey Beth, whatchya doing?” Susie sat down next Beth, smiling and oblivious, or maybe just enjoying the moment.

“Studying for my geography exam,” Beth kept her eyes on the monitor, “What do you need?”

“Oh, nothin’,” Susie pulled out her phone and began to check her messages, “I just haven’t seen ya for a few days, was wondering where you had been.”

“Here, I’ve been here,” Beth leaned back and rubbed her eyes, “I don’t think I’ve moved from this computer for the past two days.”

“That’s gotta make using the bathroom a challenge.”

Beth gave Susie a, “Please shut up,” look.

Susie of course chuckled. “Sorry, sorry. I guess you do look kinda worn-out.”

Beth returns to staring at the monitor, blinking her eyes extra, extra hard, “I hate maps.”

“Then why did you sign up for a geography course?”

“Because I needed it as an elective.”

“Why didn’t you just pick something else? You’ve been hating on this course all semester.”

“Because every other class was straightforward enough, I thought I’d might as well get something difficult out of the way.”

“Well, that was dumb,” Susie stood up and prepared to leave, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you.”

Beth stared up at Susie, “You already are.”

Susie smirked, acknowledged the burn, and walked away.

“Finally,” Beth returned to her work. At first she was in a frenzy, reading paragraph after paragraph of her study guide, but within about five minutes Beth’s eyes began to droop and close. It was at this point that she realized how much she had been working herself ragged. Well, actually she noticed this a about three days ago, but decided her pride could be stronger than her body. She found out she was wrong, as one of the librarians tapped her on the shoulder, startling her from the near-comatose state she was now in.

“Honey,” the Librarian, an older and obviously experienced, waited for Beth to become alert before continuing, “I think maybe you’ve done about as much studying you can do today.”

Beth smiled, exhausted and embarrassed, got up from her seat, thanked the librarian, and left. She of course wanted to stay, but was ready to admit defeat. That, or she just didn’t want to be escorted out of the library for snoring. Whatever the reason, Beth’s geography exam was happening the next morning, and there wasn’t any more she could do to prepare for it, outside of lamenting ever signing up for the class in the first place. This semester, the most important thing Beth learned was the importance of the old saying, “Live and learn,” and that Google maps makes learning geography completely pointless.


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