Exam week creates bizarre symptoms in students

By Amy Carruthers
Columneetza Senior Secondary
Williams Lake, British Columbia

Your pulse races. Your eyes hurt. You can't think. Your rear-end is numb, and you have the urge to completely fill in every circle you see, with an HB pencil. You have a disorder known as Final Examatosis, and you are not alone.

This severe but temporary disease affects thousands of high school students every January, during midterms, and also briefly in June. It has been linked to the one place and time in a person's life when they will really need to know the cosine of anything; final exam week.

Normally the onset of this disorder is heralded by an eerie calmness in the victim, and a marked lack of interest in anything knowledge related. The victim may also experience a distorted perception of time. (Time? I've got lots of time to study for exams, and anyway, I already know the stuff. Lets watch ‘Jerry Springer', or something).

During the disease's Second Stage, the condition of the victim becomes reversed in the extreme; instead of avoiding knowledge, the victim becomes crazed with the need to study constantly. Their eyes appear glassy. They scribble unreadable notes on every piece of paper in sight. They ask bizzare, learning-related questions such as, "How in the heck do you graph the F of X?", "Does anybody remember what the Lorenz Factor is?" and "Is ‘assonance' the practice of being asinine?". This stage, it has been noticed, usually begins one or two days before the related exam is scheduled to take place.

Stage Three, the brief, but terrifying phase of the illness, during which the victim forgets most of what he or she has learned in the past year, including the time that the exam is supposed to start, is often observed in the hour or so before the test itself begins.

During the exam, the condition reaches Stage Four, its deadliest degree. It is in this phase that the notorious mental diarrhea begins; that is, everything the victim has learned during their entire lifetime suddenly spills out on to the page in front of them in an unintelligible mess. This disgusting phenomenon usually occurs somewhere in the exam's essay section. As well, the victim will often experience a gross loss of feeling in their hindquarters (especially during the English provincial), and writer's cramps.

Once the exam has been completed, the symptoms will disappear as mysteriously as they began, but recoverees will often have to deal with feelings of guilt, self-doubt, and foreboding doom, ("Man, I know I bombed the geology final. I wish I'd studied harder; my mom is gonna KILL me!").

However, once the victim receives his or her exam score, realizes he or she has done well enough to get in to college next year, and what's more, will not have to repeat History 12 (i.e. has not caused History 12 to repeat itself), the recovery process will be complete.

As January midterms approach, students are predicted to begin showing symptoms of this seasonally-linked disorder. If you believe that you, or someone you know, has Final Examatosis, please rush to the nearest study group, while there is still time!


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