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where there's smoke: A building under construction next to the Logan Police Station caught fire from a welder's spark. Damage was estimated at $50,000. / Photo by Gideon Oakes

Today's word on journalism

August 27, 2008

On protests at political conventions:

"The citizens of Denver and St. Paul, and Americans everywhere, should hope officials in those cities already have considered both the constitutional and monetary costs of silencing voices that have a right to be heard. . . . Well-expressed or wacky. Irritating or illuminating. Respectful or raucous. There's nothing in the 45 words of the First Amendment that sets out any such qualifications or limits on protests. Time and again in our history, from women's suffrage to civil rights to tax protests, to name just some, voices first raised in the streets -- to the disgust or disappointment of some -- have led to significant, positive changes in law and American life."

--Gene Policinski, executive director, First Amendment Center, 2008

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Movin' out: The stress doesn't end when the last exam is done

By Aubreyann Hansen

May 1, 2008 | With only two hours until her last final and six hours until final check out Elysa Campbell lets out a growling scream from the depths of her stomach with the power of hell and throws her stack of 133 flashcards that scatter everywhere into open and half-packed boxes and the tops of closed and marked ones.

Campbell, 19, is an English major at the Utah State University. She has turned in roughly 25 pages of final papers and has one final exam. She has teaching responsibilities in her hometown the day after her only final which leaves her no extra time to pack or be with friends after her final exam.

In the last week of school, or 168 hours, Elysa has spent 32 of those on her 25 pages of essays and research paper. Forty-two of the hours were spent sleeping, seven and a half hours for eating, an hour and 45 minutes in the shower, and eight hours and 45 minutes getting ready. On top of all that she has spent four hours with lesson plans for when she goes home. That leaves 72 hours of naps, leisure time, cleaning, and taking care of roommates. Oh and don't forget the studying for her final and packing her entire college dorm in that time as well, and laying in bed with haunting thoughts of what did not happen today and what tomorrow will bring.

"I just feel overwhelmed with everything that is going on for school. Packing and getting living arrangements and a job for the summer is just too much," Campbell said.

Campbell is moving to Washington for the summer and has to pack boxes that go to her home in southern Utah and ones that will go to Washington with her. Needing to separate and keep packing organized is no easy task for a college dorm habitant. Elysa also lives on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator which adds to the excitement of moving. Hauling boxes up and down the stairs is tiring and Campbell sits down for a break after every other load.

As her first year of college and being away from home is over, Campbell has learned to stresses and challenges of life without parents and just how much harder college exams are from high school finals.

Campbell is not alone. She may be the only Utah State Student with this situation but many feel overwhelmed and have extremely stressful stories of their own.

Cassidy Gadd, 19, lives in Old Farm apartments in Logan, Utah. Her finals last throughout most of finals week at Utah State University. Gadd has enough "shit to pack" that her parents are bringing a trailer to fit everything in one trip. Gadd of course will not fill the entire trailer by herself but at least half will be stacked with Gadd's white college-style microwave, a small television with a built in VCR, along with many of boxes and bags.

Gadd also has to balance packing and studying with a job and boyfriend. Practically everyone knows how much effort relationships take, especially to have them last through college.

Gadd said, "It's so sad because we don't really get to see each other at all through finals week. Sometimes he'll stop by to bring me some food or something to be sweet, but we don't get to actually spend time together."

Gadd gets the biggest smile on her face and her eyes glow when he shows up. She walks with a quick pace while dodging boxes, books, flashcards, and notes on the floor to embrace in a six-Mississippi-seconds hug with her boyfriend.

"Sorry to interrupt. I know you are busy. I just wanted to drop by real quick," the boyfriend said.

They kiss goodbye and Gadd says, "Back to studying."

Gadd has much to study as she is getting close to graduation in the psychology department within the next year. This means many research hours, a 2-inch stack of flashcard terms to know, and six books that each weighs around 7 pounds.

Overwhelming is an understatement to students with finals, cleaning checks and moving out, and even more so for the ones graduating within the next year.

Each student is doing what they can to prepare for finals in the ways that helps them personally in the best way. Some spend the time and paper to make flashcards galore. Others use poster boards to map out concepts. Some merely review notes and read through the book.

The method differs from student to student and is unimportant. But the time that goes into studying is outstanding. If each student attending Utah State this semester were to put in ten hours of studying for all their finals, it would equal roughly 240,000 hours or 10,000 days of studying.

* * *

Go, Aggies! Good luck to everyone with finals and moving out for the summer.



Copyright 1997-2008 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-3292
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