How the Mercs Study for Finals
(So I’m a couple days late with this, but
Did his undergrad in cell biology.
He has the worst study habits known to humankind. He procrastinates. Pulls all-nighters two nights in a row, then crashes on the floor of his dorm common area.
If the material for a certain class is interesting, he’ll go waaaay beyond what’s expected of him. Read the textbook sections that aren’t assigned. Sit in the front row of class and ask questions that stump the professor. He’ll stretch a two-minute summary presentation into fifteen minutes.
If the material for a class isn’t interesting, he can barely force himself to work on it. Homework isn’t in by the deadline, and he’s winged quite a few tests with no studying at all.
Also, being a bio major, Medic is
laborer volunteer in one the cell bio labs. The undergrad peons are tasked
with feeding the cells in the middle of the night, so he frequently studies in
the lab break room. He’ll kick his shoes off, throw books and papers
everywhere, and erase the common blackboard so he can draw his own anatomy
diagrams and dove doodles. When it comes
time to feed the cells, he’ll pad across the lab in his socks. The PI knows
Ludwig is a walking safety violation, but hey, the kid is really good at keeping
the cells alive.
When Medic’s grades come out, he’s earned a mixture of A+’s and D-‘s.
Only reason he got accepted to med school was because his name was on several scientific papers before he finished undergrad. Always give authorship to the guy who keeps the cells alive.
Electrical engineering undergrad.
Dell is that one guy who grasps very
abstract concepts very quickly. (“Well, of course adiabatic compression causes
temperature increase.” And he understands fugacity.)
He’s really good at
thermo. Fight me.
All of his classmates would hate him if he weren’t so willing to help everybody else. He does it partially out of niceness, partially to show off, and partially because explaining concepts helps him learn.
For finals week, Dell and a friend or five will camp out in one of those group study rooms that have blackboards. They’ll settle down with coffee and a box of doughnuts or something and just crank out practice problems. Groups study sessions are loud. Lots of talking and arguing about theory and approaches. Occasional tears.
The janitor has to kick them out every night. It’s probably a good thing. Dell is not Ludwig – he’s never pulled an all-nighter in his life, and when he doesn’t sleep, he doesn’t function.
Did his undergrad in literature.
He’s the most serious student you’ve ever seen. Going to college is a great opportunity, and he’s very lucky to be here. And damnit. He. Will. Not. Screw. It. Up.
Anyway, because of the nature of his degree, he has more final projects than final exams. Misha starts his projects the day they’re assigned. All his books have annotations in the margins; they’re so well-thumbed that the bindings are starting to fail. He goes to every office hour every week, asking the professor to give his draft a looksee. (“For the umpteenth time, it’s fine, just write the final draft already.) The biggest fault with his writing is his tendency to pander to what the professor wants to hear. He wants good grades so badly that he’ll forget about himself in the process. The professors have had to give him a loving kick in the pants now and again. Tell him it’s okay to disagree with them.
Misha’s been known to get over 100% in some of his classes because he went to all the extra-credit poetry readings.
It goes without saying that he got into graduate school without trouble.
I like to think that Demo tried college, but never completed it. Entering a formal classroom setting after a lifetime of homeschooling is rough enough. And it’s been shown pretty clearly that Demo’s coping skills are… not the greatest. Because I am a cruel and terrible person, I hc him as suffering from crippling test anxiety.
And let’s face it, testing environments can suck. Being stuffed in an enormous lecture hall with a “desk” that’s smaller than an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, listening to the sniffles of a hundred other students, not being allowed to use the bathroom while the florescent lights flicker overhead…Tavish will choke. He can’t focus on the problems because he’s panicking so hard. And then he’ll look up, realize he has fifteen minutes left and scribble down some sort of nonsense synthesis because he has to write something.
Anyway, he failed his finals for Principals of Chem and Orgo I. That locked him out of being any sort of chemistry major. His advisor recommended he transfer to the humanities, which Tavish interpreted as a major slap in the face. He didn’t return for a second semester.
Interestingly enough, he aced the
practical portion of the Orgo I final. He had four lab periods to identify a
completely unknown chemical, but got it done in a period and a half. Pop that
sucker in the IR, do a functional group test for confirmation, and he’s golden.
He also got a copy of the Sigma-Aldritch catalog from his mom and used that
to compare spectra.