Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – Exams – Days 137-139

Posted on 17th December 2012

I had experienced multiple exam periods before, but none so stressful as what I experienced at Penn. Possibly one of the most stressful weeks of my life and, unfortunately I lacked the perspective to step back from it.

The week didn’t begin so badly, with a few major projects due Tuesday but no exam till Thursday. I thought all was well as I’d planned ahead and completed most of the projects. Monday held two PGC gigs, both of which were pretty awesome. The first of those being a performance at the top of the Huntsman building, on the eighth floor, never seen on regular occasions by students. One could tell the event was of higher status than some of the others by the flashy catering provided and the seemingly unlimited supply of pepper steak being carved up for the guests. Our performance however, was less than stellar and I’m not 100% sure we earned our keep that time. However, we had a chance to redeem ourselves later in the evening with the President herself, Amy Guttmann.However before that there was coding to be done in the break and candle lighting at Hillel with a brief appearance by President Guttmann.Amy Guttmann Lights Chanukkah Candles


Following her speech there was a performance, as below, by the Jewish acapella group on campus, the Shabbatones.

Following that it was again, a short period of study and work before a trip to the fantastic Presidential Holiday Party at the house of the President herself.

Line to the Party

There was a line out the front reaching a decent way back and understandably so, for on the other side the beautifully adorned building was a back garden filled with desserts and holiday treats. However, the Glee Club was sequestered to a side room to await our performance.

PGC Waiting

We waited anxiously for the entire crew to arrive and when they did, we sang our bit before spending time mingling. It was during this period that I managed to snag a photo with the President, one for the wall.

Holiday Party with Students

After all this hubbub I planed to work a little and then sleep early. Unfortunately, a few small issues with my code ballooned out and ending up taking me till the early hours of the morning, programming in Engineering, Moore 100. Around me students with bleary eyes were all focused on the same goal. Completing the assignment by 10AM Tuesday. Many fell by the wayside or more literally, fell asleep.

Tuesday morning I slept through most of and the evening was spent in a mixture of coding and revising. Today was also the day that the family visited Penn and I spent at least a little time showing them around before my recital at 1PM where I sang fly me to the moon. Email me for a link to that video.

Different project this time and lots of math catchup for the algorithms course.I seem to be doing this more frequently, but another significant event this past week was another interview, this time for an on campus position of ‘Teaching Assistant’ or TA (tutor) for the algorithms course. This applied extra pressure on me to do well on the exam to prove myself. The interview in fact went excellently, and the interviewer Val Tannen, had a few words with me after that were most encouraging. It was then on Tuesday I received notification that not only had I succeeded in being offered a TA job, I was to be given a tutorial/section/lab to teach because of my strong performance. This made me nervous a little but I was more than happy to accept. In the evening I went for a delicious dinner with my parents before arriving back on campus a little after nine PM to get back to work. However at around ten PM I received an SMS from JHo, my Glee mentor, wondering where I was at auditions, and then it hit me, I had forgotten my audition slot half an hour beforehand for the PGC Spring Show! The moment I received that message I grabbed my coat, some sheet music and, sprinted as fast as I possibly could, over to Platt Student Performing Arts Center where I was the last person to have my audition and, though I was a little stressed out I felt it went relatively well.

Wednesday was a non stop day of study, almost without pause and the study went well into the night where I helped out a few friends with their questions. Unfortunately for me, I never remember that when I manage to help others for an exam, I often doom my own performance….

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