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The Inquisitor

For The Inquisitor's December edition, Towerview asked current Duke students and alumni to share their worst finals week experiences. Read on to find out what they had to say.

John Cunnane, senior

“I was writing a paper about Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. It was a long paper, 10 pages, and 24 hours before it was due... I still wasn't very far along. I stayed up all night Thursday; when I got tired working in one place, I'd move to another.... In the morning, with more than half the paper to write, I reach for the book to find the page number of a citation. It's not on my desk. I upend my backpack. It's not there. Paper's due in 14 hours. Perkins hasn't got the edition of the book I was using, which means I'd have to redo all the citations I'd already done. The Gothic Bookstore has another of Rushdie's books from the same publisher, but not the one I need. I'm literally sprinting across campus at nine in the morning checking all the spots I'd been, asking about lost and founds—nothing. I call the Regulator [Bookshop] and… they haven't got it. I call Barnes & Noble and explain my situation in a panic: they have it, in my edition!! Drove there doing 80. They had it waiting behind the counter. Something that amused me was that they all treated the situation with the same seriousness I did. I wrote most of the paper in the Barnes & Noble cafe. Ate lunch there: it was a self-serve cafe, but someone came and took my plate so that I could keep working. Finished the paper with minutes to spare. So, basically, the moral of the story is: f--k buying local, go to chains, where the people and inventory are better, and also I will cut anyone I hear speak ill of B&N, which I owe a debt of blood.”

Lauren Ellis, sophomore

"My crazy ex-roommate turned off my alarm, removed my calculator batteries and left my formula sheet in a neat pile of paper shreds in the wastebasket. Then after the exam, she calmly justified her actions: 'I thought you could use some extra sleep. You seemed tired.'"

Camille Mathey-Andrews, senior

"I bit off an acrylic nail once during an exam. I don't usually wear acrylic nails, but I was then and was really nervous. It just split in half."

Chinmayi Sharma, Trinity ’13

"We have all had that nightmare-ish moment when, come finals week, you realize you had never even purchased the textbook. Well, maybe not all of us. Everyone handles finals week in their own way. Some study, others slack, but I have never seen someone deal with their examophobia quite like a girl in my freshman year AIDS and Emerging Diseases class. About 30 minutes into the exam, I saw her close her test booklet, sigh and then reach down and pull out a water bottle from her backpack. I can only guess what was inside, but let's just say she was the only happy face emerging from the final exam room that night."

Mithun Shetty, sophomore

"I kicked the alarm clock off my table in my sleep, unplugged it and slept through my inorganic [chemistry] exam. I woke up at noon and screamed, flipped a table and called my mom out of fear."

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