With the conclusion of a very pleasant fall term, Cambridge has decided to send me back to my Southern Californian exile amid collegiate drama, with some aptly-timed finals week bomb threats. When campus was declared bomb-free, I received the following mass email from one of the deans:
We understand most students are expressing eagerness to take the exams for which they have prepared. However, if for any reason a student does not feel able to take an exam – including anxiety, loss of study time, lack of access to material and belongings left in one of the affected buildings, or travel schedule -- he or she should be in touch immediately with his or her resident dean. Any such student will have the option of being graded on their coursework to date, excluding the exam. Those students will have the option of requesting to be graded Pass/Fail for the course without incurring any penalty in their progress toward degree.If the vague threat of bombs made you too anxious to take an exam, then you don't have to, weenie.
And with that, back to San Diego.
UPDATE: While I totally assumed the bomb threat was made by an undergrad with an exam to evade, I am nonetheless sincerely surprised to have been correct. How could this guy not know that email is traceable, that he'd be caught, and that the consequences of making bomb threats are far greater than the consequences of failing a final exam? This is all obvious. To everyone. There are probably a million ways to get out of an exam at Harvard, and this guy managed to select the worst possible one.
UPDATE II: All that to avoid the Politics of American Education final?!? Is you kidding? What a joke.