Yellowstone
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Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Fri May 14, 2010 11:13 pm

Self gloss...

As of 5 pm today, I'm officially done with the academic part of my college career! I'll be graduating on May 27th from Harvard University with a B.A. in Chemistry, but I had my last final today - not in chemistry, oddly enough, but in political philosophy. So now I get to spend the next couple weeks until graduation drinking/packing/hanging out with friends (while drinking).

Now returning to your regularly scheduled A.net...
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
hoons90
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Fri May 14, 2010 11:24 pm

Congratulations!  

Time flies by really fast in college... I am halfway through myself, already.
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PacNWjet
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 1:13 am

Congratulations. That's great news.

Just out of curiosity, why is there such a long gap between final exams and commencement at Harvard? Judging from the final exam scheduled posted online, the last day of final exams at Harvard is May 15 and commencement is scheduled for May 27. That leaves twelve days between the last day of finals and commencement which seems pretty long compared to other colleges and universities with which I am familiar. Does the Harvard administration let seniors stay in university housing for the entire time between the end of finals and commencement? That would seem rather expensive. Can you provide any insight?
 
einsteinboricua
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 2:36 am

How I wish I could say the same. Due to the strikes in the University of Puerto Rico, I'm far from finished. What makes this worse is that I was just about two weeks from taking my last final exam.  

Anyways, congratulations on your degree.   
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ANITIX87
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 3:00 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 2):
Just out of curiosity, why is there such a long gap between final exams and commencement at Harvard? Judging from the final exam scheduled posted online, the last day of final exams at Harvard is May 15 and commencement is scheduled for May 27. That leaves twelve days between the last day of finals and commencement which seems pretty long compared to other colleges and universities with which I am familiar. Does the Harvard administration let seniors stay in university housing for the entire time between the end of finals and commencement? That would seem rather expensive. Can you provide any insight?

Most schools give their seniors a week or so to hang out, and have "Senior Week". My alma-mater (Lehigh University) did the same thing, and the school sponsored a week-long trip to Ocean City, MD to hang out on the beach. We had to find housing there, but they organized discounts at clubs and restaurants, and things like that. As for those who didn't opt to go, they had those 10 days free, and could either remain on campus (with permission) or go home.

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Yellowstone
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 3:02 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 2):
Just out of curiosity, why is there such a long gap between final exams and commencement at Harvard? Judging from the final exam scheduled posted online, the last day of final exams at Harvard is May 15 and commencement is scheduled for May 27. That leaves twelve days between the last day of finals and commencement which seems pretty long compared to other colleges and universities with which I am familiar. Does the Harvard administration let seniors stay in university housing for the entire time between the end of finals and commencement? That would seem rather expensive. Can you provide any insight?

Yes, we do get to stay in Harvard housing until graduation, but they start shutting the dining halls down gradually from the 15th through the 22nd. Probably a bit expensive, but hey, it's Harvard - with as much as my parents are paying, I expect a few perks. The actual graduation-type events start up on Tuesday the 25th, with the Baccalaureate Service, a non-denominational church service for the graduating seniors (and I mean really non-denominational - last year's service had readings from Confucius, the Hebrew Bible, Hindu scripture, the Quran, and the New Testament). That makes about 9 days between the last final and the start of Commencement, during which they hold all sorts of events for the seniors - harbor cruise, Six Flags trip, class-wide barbecue, etc. As someone quipped, the university wants to give us enough time to drink so that we can block out any unpleasant memories of college before we graduate.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
gatorfan
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 3:13 am

So what comes next? Job? Graduate school? What does a Harvard grad with a chemistry degree do?
 
PacNWjet
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 3:57 am

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 5):
Yes, we do get to stay in Harvard housing until graduation, but they start shutting the dining halls down gradually from the 15th through the 22nd. Probably a bit expensive, but hey, it's Harvard - with as much as my parents are paying, I expect a few perks. The actual graduation-type events start up on Tuesday the 25th, with the Baccalaureate Service, a non-denominational church service for the graduating seniors (and I mean really non-denominational - last year's service had readings from Confucius, the Hebrew Bible, Hindu scripture, the Quran, and the New Testament). That makes about 9 days between the last final and the start of Commencement, during which they hold all sorts of events for the seniors - harbor cruise, Six Flags trip, class-wide barbecue, etc. As someone quipped, the university wants to give us enough time to drink so that we can block out any unpleasant memories of college before we graduate.

Very interesting. Where I teach, this year the last day of finals was Wednesday, May 12 and Commencement is Sunday, May 16—only four days between the last day of finals and commencement (faculty have to turn in senior grades the day after the last day of finals!). I imagine our students would be jealous of students at colleges that provide more fun activities between finals and commencement.
 
Yellowstone
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 4:33 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 7):
I imagine our students would be jealous of students at colleges that provide more fun activities between finals and commencement.

Worth noting - we do have to pay to attend these events.

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 6):
So what comes next? Job? Graduate school? What does a Harvard grad with a chemistry degree do?

This Harvard grad with a chemistry degree is going to Caltech for graduate school in chemistry. Should take about 5 years or so to get my PhD.
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
JeffSFO
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 7:45 am

That's great, Yellowstone. Congratulations and best of luck at Caltech!
 
Gemuser
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 8:39 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 2):
Just out of curiosity, why is there such a long gap between final exams and commencement at Harvard?

To provide a little contrast from this side of the Pacific, in Oz final exams for the year finish by the end of November; you get your results in late December, (mine ALWAYS seemed to lob in the letter box on 24 Dec!), HOPEFULLY with the little line at the bottom "You have completed your course". Graduation ceremonies are in April the following year, which is when you get your "piece of paper".

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TIA
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 9:29 am

Quoting PacNWJet (Reply 2):
That leaves twelve days between the last day of finals and commencement which seems pretty long compared to other colleges and universities with which I am familiar.

I thought all schools gave a pretty long break. When I graduated from Cornell we had about 2 weeks from what I can remember. It was good to hang out with all your college friends one more time before being scattered around the world. There were activities organized by the university during this time (wine tours, paintballing, etc.), but you had to pay for them yourself. I didn't live in the dorms my last two years, but the seniors who did could stay there until graduation.
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 2:12 pm

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 8):
This Harvard grad with a chemistry degree is going to Caltech for graduate school in chemistry. Should take about 5 years or so to get my PhD.

Congratulations and good luck with your PhD! Should have mine in about 10 months time, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

To give you an idea about grad school, check out www.phdcomics.com!

As a side remark, why do you get a BA rather than a BSc in chemistry? Normally, over here (Swiss Fed Institute of Tech), you always get B/MSc's in the science and engineering courses...
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Yellowstone
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 4:50 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 12):
As a side remark, why do you get a BA rather than a BSc in chemistry? Normally, over here (Swiss Fed Institute of Tech), you always get B/MSc's in the science and engineering courses...

Harvard's just weird that way. All the degrees it gives are AB's, with the exception of Engineering Sciences degrees - in that field, students can choose whether they want an AB or an SB (the difference is the number of courses required).
Hydrogen is an odorless, colorless gas which, given enough time, turns into people.
 
PacNWjet
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 4:57 pm

Quoting TIA (Reply 11):
When I graduated from Cornell we had about 2 weeks from what I can remember.

Sounds like this is a fairly recent innovation even for Cornell. I was in graduate school at Cornell from 1987 to 1993 (Ph.D. in Government). I don't recall there being such a long gap between the end of final exams and commencement, but then again, as a graduate student I did not pay very close attention to the undergraduate calendar except, of course, when I was a teaching assistant and I had to get grades turned in by a certain deadline.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 5:19 pm

Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 4):


Most schools give their seniors a week or so to hang out, and have "Senior Week".

Most, definitely not all. My friend just finished at UM (miami, not any of the other pretenders)- She had her graduation yesterday, and her last final the day before. I went to Tulane and finished in december of '07 but didn't actually graduate until may of '08 because I chose to participate in the larger spring ceremony with all my friends rather than the half assed december graduation. I think we had a gap of maybe a week between the last final and the graduation ceremony, but in any case it doesn't matter because in New Orleans regardless of the time of year, school status, or impending finals, you're always partying  
 
steeler83
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RE: Just Finished My Last College Final Exam!

Sat May 15, 2010 8:21 pm

Quoting gatorfan (Reply 6):
What does a Harvard grad with a chemistry degree do?

I'd like to think just about anything pertaining to chemical science. He went to HARVARD!  

Man, congrats on that! How does it feel to have an Ivy-league education?

I just got my Masters degree in geography and planning from West Chester University of PA on Monday. I'd rather gloat about landing a job in my field, and so far I have an interview on Tuesday with the City of Wilmington for a planning technician job.
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