Midterm Aesthetics

(Left to right) Seniors Anwar Sakly, Luke Lileika, and Patrick Covino moments before their calculus midterm.

Midterms and their aesthetics are a lot of different things: tests, essays, or something in between. They’re teachers that let you watch a movie and teachers that give you 50-page packets, all to prepare for the same thing, worth the same amount of points, as a marker to see if you’ve made it this far by coasting or if you’ve actually managed to learn anything. As midterm week(s) come to a close, so does the stress, half days, and propaganda that midterms are so much better than just having a final because that’s “much more pressure for yourself in June.” While your attitude towards midterms falls somewhere between the love of no homework and the hatred of studying, even in midterms there are aesthetics to hold on to.

Aesthetic: Typing a bunch of words you hope are coherent and have a theme without having any time to read it over. Let’s stop lying to ourselves that we’re gonna use the last 5 minutes for revising; we never do.
Aesthetic Rating: 7/10
Reasoning: You’re either the person who says playing with numbers is the most relaxing midterm or writing is; I choose to believe the latter. The people who disagree are very different people from myself, and respectfully… why?

Aesthetic: Trying to remember terms and equations from September, which you didn’t even understand then.
Aesthetic Rating: 4/10
Reasoning: I may be biased, but I am right. Now for some math is just two hours of figuring out problems and getting to feel superior that you’ve turned your test in earlier than your classmates. Let’s be honest: nothing can make numbers slightly interesting, except 7, because it’s the only one that provides any drama. What other class do you have with packets longer than your attention span, that you’ll end up doing anyway because you need all the help you can get? None. 

Aesthetic: Realizing that you honestly do not know how you got through half of this class and don’t know whether it will be the easiest or hardest midterm you have. In other words, it’s a slightly less interesting version of a wild card.
Aesthetic Rating: 3/10
Reasoning: At least math provides the excitement of fear; science is just confusing and you don’t really know why or in what way.

Aesthetic: Playing some random, probably problematic, historical figure.
Aesthetic Rating: 8/10
Reasoning: Playing a psychopathic king and general with family trauma for a grade has been the highlight of my year.

Aesthetic: No school.
Aesthetic Rating: 15/10
Reasoning: Free break, obviously the best one.

Aesthetic: Trying to put together a bunch of words together in a language you don’t know and will never fully learn.
Aesthetic Rating: 6/10
Reasoning: It makes no sense and the test level is in accordance with that. 

Aesthetic: Depending on which elective you chose you’re either doing basically nothing or contemplating why you chose this class when you could be cooking.
Aesthetic Rating: 5/10
Reasoning: Neutral and based solely on how good your decision-making skills are.

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