Tests of Time

December 13, 2007

It's that time of year again: final exams.

That's what Georgetown students are doing this week. Do you remember what it feels like in the minutes before the exam? After spending a semester attending classes, learning, working and preparing for the appointed moment, you find a seat in the classroom, pull out your writing instruments, look at the clock, look around at your silent fellow classmates, wait for the blue books to be distributed, sneak a last look at your study notes, and wipe your sweaty palms. Discomfort is one way of describing it as you just wallow in the surreal feelings brought on by the anxiety, the pressure, the desire to excel, the intense preparation, not to mention the impending relief that it will soon all be over.

Most of us want to forget those experiences. But it is a good thing that we don't. It's about accountibility and demonstrating our talents and proficiences against a defined standard.


Who can forget the Blue Book?

If these academic responsibilities are analogous to work and the performances of our intercollegiate athletes analogous to play, isn't it peculiar that the effect they have on the respective participants are so similar? Let me elaborate.

Intercollegiate contests are the final exams for an athlete. After spending the season to-date attending practice, learning, working and preparing for this appointed pre-game moment, an athlete finds a seat in the lockerroom, checks their uniform and equipment, glances at the time left until game time, looks around at their silent fellow teammates, waits for the coach to address the team and for any last minute words of advice, and wipes their sweaty palms.

So work or play, it doesn't matter. The preliminary ritual is simply about the human experience of being tested. There is, however, an added element of discomfort in the athletic environment, namely, taking this test in front of an audience (teammates and fans) and displaying the results for all to see. But the fact is that we need this testing, we yearn for it. Without it, we never know how good we are, nor how good we can be.

There is one other similarity -- when it is all over and you have done your best. It feels sooo good.

Good luck Hoyas!


Lauinger Library, a popular destination in December

Home of the Hoyas, McDonough Gym


PJM - View From The Hilltop



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September 9
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September 10
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September 10
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Holy Cross
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September 15
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September 16
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