Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"It's past midnight, Cebre."

I remember sitting up late on the computer, finishing papers, and MSN-IMing or AIMing my friends.  My dad would come downstairs:

"It's past midnight, Cebre."
"Ookay, yeah! I just need to finish this up and my friend REALLY needs me to talk to her right now."

Now? It's a miracle if I make it to bed close to midnight, let alone before it.

But that's besides the point.  I'm here tonight to discuss the wonderful organization of BYU finals:
It's really quite sad.  You stand in line, heart racing, waiting waiting waiting... tell the student your exam, waiting waiting waiting, ... let your ID get swiped, and then you enter through the doors that say, well, "Enter."

So you look into the auditorium, and you see tons of empty seats.  You look some more, and see students sitting on the stage, sitting in the aisles, laying on the floor.  Why, you ask?

Because there is a form of etiquette to how you sit in public places.  

It's simply not socially acceptable to sit next to somebody else. Out of the question.  Even less acceptable is a man sitting next to a man.  That's just abnormally close and infringing on all personal space!  And of course, in the lovely JSB auditorium, each person is so anxious to take their exam that they take the closest seat-- on the outside of the row.  So while there are empty seats, you would have to climb over a myriad of people simply to sit down.  Yet another action that will socially stamp you as annoying, loud, and unnecessary.  

So I decided to climb over people.  

When I finally got to my seat, I sat down, and my bag was uncomfortably over my shoulder. "Sorry," I whispered as my elbow knocked into the boy-on-my-left's pencil.  All the hustle and bustle then caused me to sneeze, knocking my own test onto the floor beneath the boy-on-my-right's seat.  "Thanks."  I then started to take my exam. Being super self-conscious about my perimeter, I attempted to accomplish everything, flipping pages, circling bubbles, and crossing and un-crossing my legs, while staying within the width of my shoulders.  

"Sorry."  My test fell to the same exact spot as before.  "It won't happen again."

Proud to say, it didn't!  But as I finished, I noticed that I was the first person in my row to complete my exam since I had sat down.  So yes, once again I had to have every person squish into the smallest possible shape so that I could squeeze past.  Why are all the seats reclining, anyway?  It makes it so I have to lean into the person I'm trying to step over.

Everybody should change their social seating schema.  I mean, if only for finals week.  
Here's my advice:
  1. If the row is completely empty, go into the middle.
  2. If another person is already sitting down, sit next to them.  It may be awkward for about 15 seconds as you are the only two people in your row, but it will fill up, and quickly.
  3. Don't take up more than your allocated space given in a seat.  That means don't use someone else's rotational desk to hold your TI-84 calculator and a water bottle.
  4. Smile at everyone who makes you move.  They're already embarrassed, don't make them more uncomfortable.
And with that being said... I'm DONE!  Hopefully to never enter such a setting again.


  1. Is the testing center now in the JSB? When we had the testing center, everyone had his/her own desk (and it always smelled like a sweaty locker room in there). Fun memories.

  2. Ha ha ha... This is so true! I definitely just had a major flashback to taking tests in the JSB :) good times.. good times.. :)