Finals Week (And some math)

Let me start off this week’s blog by saying if you’re looking to get pumped up for college, don’t read the rest of this. Last week, the Colby campus was full of kids drinking coffee like it was water, people pulling all nighters for never-ending papers, and students having nervous breakdowns in the middle of the library. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic. But it’s safe to say the usual campus atmosphere was a lot more depressed than the usual energetic and up beat campus that we have every week of the semester but finals week. Generally finals week differs for everyone depending on what their major is and what classes they take, but no matter what you’re studying you’re going to notice this very dramatic and sudden change coming over campus at the end of the semester. You find yourself crashing at 4 AM and waking up at 7, not talking to anyone for days at a time, and having nightmares about your tests. Like actually. Sunday night I had a dream about Super PACs. Clearly my massive campaign finance paper and final was getting to me a bit.

Anyways, I could probably say a bunch more about finals week but: 1) I didn’t want to depress you guys too much 2) I didn’t want to depress myself too much and 3) I wanted to talk a bit about grades! This means that for this week we’re going to mix it up a bit: I thought that instead of writing the usual blog, I would throw in a bit of math. For those of you who are prospective students and fresh out of some high school AP Calc, feel free to point out any stupid things I did – otherwise, if you’re a parent, this is a good way to try to bring back your high school or college algebra skills!

Colby likes to torture students and not release grades for a few weeks after the semester ends. If you submit professor evaluations, you get them a bit earlier. But what the registrar’s office has overlooked (or maybe just isn’t too worried about) is that your GPA and credit hours update whenever a professor puts in a new grade. So, what you can do is obsessingly stalk the MyColby page and whenever your credit hours update by four, you know a new grade has been submitted. To find what this grade is, you can do something like the following: (x is the grade you’re looking for)

x = ((new GPA * new credit total) – (previous credit total * previous GPA)) / (new credit total – previous credit total)

Solve for x, and voila, your grade, revealed. I was debating describing the process of how I painstakingly found my awesome formula to you guys and where I derived it from, but I figured nobody would read it. And, I need to go apply for a job helping out with an Augusta lobbyist firm when I’m at Colby over the summer. See you guys next week!

Nick

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