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Ellen Ahlness | Staff Writer

Twas the night before finals and all through the state

Every Century student had too much on their plate.

The semester was ending yet fate seemed too cruel

For finals were upon the whole of the school.

Not a single student was snug in their bed

Every one of them feeling quite over their head.

My friend donning patience and I—thinking cap

Began to cram—forsaking a chance to nap.

When I laid out my textbook, clips, pens and note,

Feeling my only salvation was hope,

My eyes started to burn from seeing the flash—

—cards, that is, thinking of all my cash.

I’d spent it on classes, like all of my peers

And now we were facing the sum of all our fears

Few students had studied all semester I think—

Now stress was handled with panic and drink.

Only twelve hours ‘til the first of the tests

Maybe then some would find few hours of rest.

Well, I had three classes left to go by,

So I swore, and shouted, and cursed Poli Sci.

“Oh elections, oh new laws, oh congress and voting!

Oh single-member districts, the politicians doting!

To the top of the polls, to the top of the chart!

In adjuring and scripting new laws do your part!”

My daydreams were starting to seem a godsend

So I checked with my pal, if you will, “phone-a-friend.”

The dial tone rang, rang through the night,

When she finally answered, sounding very uptight.

“Don’t you know that I’m busy? I’ve got too much to do!

I’ve been putting of studying— oh, I see. You too?”

We chatted a while, well-deserving a break,

Thinking we’d done work at all was our big mistake.

I caught myself dozing off once again,

Bleary-eyed, tired, only half past ten.

Somehow I stayed awake, like everyone had,

Still, the thought of tests made me quite sad.

A bundle of books were flung on each back,

And all of us students were part of a pack

Our eyes- how they blurred! Chance rolled the dice.

Our faces lacked color, some coffee’d be nice.

We shuffled to class, strung tight as a wire

Hoping there’d be some terror- gas, snow or fire?

The prof handed out the tests and quick as a snap

I read the first question—first few— and gasped.

A frown on his face and shake of his head,

Soon gave me to know the poor feeling of dread.

Should I guess for the first, second, and third?

Or be quiet, hoping the answer’s overheard?

I couldn’t talk to the prof, there’d be nothing to say.

So I sadly patterned out ‘A-B-B-A.’

Multiple choice, short answer, matching, and more,

By the fifteenth page I was feeling quite bored.

When I finally finished, not at all feeling smart.

I had to admit I’d never done my part.

Sure I’d paid for classes, but never spoke at all,

Didn’t give the effort, didn’t risk the fall.

I’d thought that I’d learned, but I’d been the tool

By never giving effort I’d been the real fool.

STOP IT! I didn’t fail… maybe did well…

But the prof’s frown set off a warning bell.

So I ran from the class, trying not to be rude,

While that voice in my head just kept yelling, “you’re screwed!”