As I sit here late in the night knowing that I’ll be here late in the morning as well I can’t help but say to myself, “Tony, you won’t be missing this in two weeks.” FINALS – the unstopable force charging at the imovable object…dred, pain, and exhaustion is just the tip of the iceberg.

You ask, whats typical about taking finals at Westminster Theological Seminary?

  • Starring at three or more different sets of class notes from different students, each being about 50-150 pages in length, while also looking over your own in the attempt to make sure you didn’t miss any important remarks or arguments in the lecture.
  • Digesting and redigesting books, articles, and other literary assignments from class in order to gradually build for yourself a key from the readings so you can explain what one person said and how it differs from three to four other responsible and trusted resources.
  • Finding the secrete rythm to copies of finals test from eight different previous years, comparing different professors focuses in relation to your current professor in hopes of figuring out what the 40% essay question will look like.
  • Meeting groups of friends who all have their own digests and redigests and walking through everything slowly and methodically.
  • Sleeping 2-4 hours a night with 7 hour patches as finals may be spread out…or worst case senario have two of your most difficult finals on the same day while only finishing your first final the night before.
  • Studying until your brain cannot possibly contain anything more, and experiencing the terrible sensation that you can’t remember the forty four hours of lecture notes and 2000+ pages of readings that you were just quizzed on in a different class yesterday.
  • Knowing that you barely remember outlines from your previous years finals, and feeling the vanity of it all.  
  • Speaking of vanity, studying through 6-10 full chapters of translation from Hebrew or Greek, in order to be quized on translating any part of it as well as conjugating or parsing out any word. Sometimes entire books…and all for 10% or 15% of your grade. (The Uber Language Greeks rejoice, and I do with them in envy).
  • Seeing the wear and tear on your friends faces as countless students do everything in their power to read that last note, that last digest nano-seconds before the professor prays as an opening to the final.
  • Taking all of this and craming it into a little blue book, or perhaps two little blue books.
  • Writing so fast that your illegible script looks more like the ancient languages you’ve learned than the English tongue it was meant to resemble.
  • And this is probably the scariest part of all: BEING THE FIRST ONE TO FINISH THE FINAL AND HAND IT IN. You’re officially standing in the direct path of a high-beam on coming car and everyone knows it…

Can’t say I’ll be missing these things, not really at all, but I know I’m a different person than when I first set foot inside Westminster 🙂 I’d much rather go through this breaking process than be in an education where I wasn’t challenged, where I could cruse through without the slightest breaking of sweat…tomorrow it begins.