I’ve been studying for a midterm. It’s been a little while since I’ve had to write a test like this, and I’d forgotten what it feels like.
As a reward for some long studying, and a rather hard week for both of us, my girlfriend Em and I decided to watch The Lord of the Rings: The Twin Towers DVD last night. Three things:
First, it’s better than I remember. Second, the special effects still hold up.
Third, I’ve realized that studying for an exam might be a lot like how generals prepare for war. I try to out-think and out-strategize my opponent (the instructor)…what angles are they most likely to attack from? What are my best defenses? What can I attack with? How will they try to surprise me? What are my weaknesses? What ammunition do I have? What might I have to sacrifice? Will I lose?
In this case, my opponent hadn’t given me much to work with. No past exams. No exam outline. Nothing. Just a point in the textbook, and everything up to it was fair game.
And so I strapped on my armor this morning (a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, my boots, and my pea coat), sheathed my sword (a 0.5mm mechanical pencil into my pencil case), and prepared for my epic battle.
I would be facing the Dark Lord of Automata Theory this morning.
As I approached the battlefield, a disquieting and familiar cry entered my mind:
Thanks for the support, Gandalf. I hoped he was wrong.
After surveying the landscape, I breathed a sigh of relief. Luckily, my opponent hadn’t tried anything too tricky.
The battle began.
I think I did alright.