I Was Exempt From My 10-Hour Final Exam
Politics and Activism

I Was Exempt From My 10-Hour Final Exam

Preparation really is the key to success.


The fall semester of my freshman year of college, I experienced one of the most challenging, frustrating, intellectually stimulating, emotionally straining, extremely applicable classes ever. In my introduction to critical thinking course, I met a unique professor who would have a profound effect on my life.

Critical thinking is an imperative skill to attain in order to better understand and create arguments that are composed of issues, reasons, and conclusions. By identifying the flaws found within reasons, critical thinkers are trained to question everything that is thrown their way. As a result, people are prompted to think more deeply about how others are communicating, the thought processes by which these communications are derived, and how to more clearly substantiate their own arguments.

The ability to critically think is crucial for the development of upper-level performance in all areas. As a result, this class was full of challenging material since I was learning how to change my course of thinking. I knew that the skills I was working so hard to attain would assist in my overall learning habits for the rest of my life, not only in school-related subjects but also as a productive member of society. I was excited about the challenge, but somedays I found myself definitely overwhelmed and frustrated.

One important aspect of a class is the professor. A professor can either make or break a class, regardless of the subject. My professor that taught my introduction to critical thinking course is one that I will never forget. Ever.

From the day that my professor walked into the classroom, on my very first day of college, he was always dressed very eccentrically and the door would slam shut behind him. As he would make his way to the front of the room, you could hear a pin drop. The heart rates of students would increase as their chattering would slow to a stop the moment the professor entered.

Our professor was incredibly intimidating, yet he always meant well. He seemed to be so impossible to please, but that was only because he set such high expectations for his students. Passing grades were difficult to earn; when you received one, you knew that you had truly worked hard to earn it.

Two weeks prior to the final, my class learned that our final critical thinking exam would be 10 hours long. At first, this sounds terrible like an excruciatingly long amount of time for a final examination period. All of my other classes had the regular two-hour exam period; but, as I had quickly realized this semester, my intro to critical thinking class was not like all of my other classes.

Our professor explained that we were not required to stay for the entire 10-hour exam period but if we wanted the time, it was available to us. Additionally, each student was allowed to choose what time their exam began. (Good news, considering I had other scheduled exams to take!)

I was still nervous about this experience. Whenever I would tell somebody that I had a 10-hour exam during finals week, they didn't believe me.

The same day that my class was given the details about the final exam, we were also assigned our final paper for the class. We had to choose a topic that interested us, find videos and/or articles in support of the argument of our topics, and then critically evaluate those sources.

This paper assignment had no length criteria; the professor said he would assign letter grades based on the number of critical thinking skills that we demonstrated in our papers but the scale would not be determined until after all of the papers were turned in. In other words, the professor was planning to measure our determination, perseverance, and competition skills.

So I didn't waste any time beginning to write my paper.

I chose to write about vegetarianism. I found several articles and YouTube videos about different perspectives regarding this lifestyle. My final paper ended up being 35 pages in length containing 64 critical thinking skills that were then thoroughly explained.

I emailed my paper the day before the final exam. That afternoon, I received a reply from my professor stating that I had gone above and beyond in terms of exemplifying the critical thinking skills I attained in this introductory course. My professor concluded his email by exempting me from the 10-hour final and congratulating me.

I was mind-blown... I had never even dreamed that this would happen.

I cried a good amount of tears of joy which was really just my release of all the stress and anxiety I had been holding in from this class over the semester. Then I oddly felt a little left out because I wasn't required to take the 10-hour final anymore. Part of me still wanted to experience it; would it really take me all 10 hours to complete?

In conclusion, I am thankful for this class experience. Although I would never choose to retake the course, I am incredibly glad that I did. Not only was this course useful in terms of the content that I learned, but also in a pretty broad "life lesson" aspect as well. I learned that being pushed way outside of your comfort zone is very intimidating, yet the outcome of doing so is beneficial. Most importantly, I learned that going the extra step (or few steps) will set you apart from the crowd and provide an opportunity for you to be recognized, but it truly takes an immense amount of dedication and effort.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

12 Ways To Help The #BlackLivesMatter Movement If You CAN'T Protest

We can all do better. Join the fight against racial injustice.

The current state of the world has created the perfect storm for change in America. But with change there is always risk. Although protests have sprung up all across America, COVID-19 is still a very real risk. Luckily, you can help bring about change from the comfort of your own home. And no, I don't mean just by posting a black square on social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter who you are (an introvert, person of color, member of the LGBTQ+ community, Scorpio, TikToker, you name it), we want to hear what dating in America is like for you and the thoughts you have while working through the talking stage, first dates, navigating love, working through dating problems, etc.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments