Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Highlights from Exam #3

- We were in a different room today, which totally threw me for a loop. I returned from the bathroom and literally had my hand on the door of Room 9 before I remembered that we were in Room 11, thereby saving myself from an embarrassing incident with a room of geologists. You don't want to relive that twice.

- My second essay would probably have looked better with a conclusion. I had just enough time to consider scribbling, ' I think this speaks for itself. I don't need to justify myself to you.' I didn't, but only barely.

- I got my gender question! And it was like, 'is gender really still relevant?' and I was like, yes, yes, a thousand times yes! (It had better be, or my BA is pretty worthless.) I'm actually not that confident in the essay, because I basically just finished by being like, um, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Suzanne Kessler, and Donna Haraway have lots to say about your so-called 'gender,' so go read something by all of them. I'm sure that'll play really well with the examiners.

- It was a huge relief to finish the third of the four exams because it's the last vague, amorphous 'social anthropology' exam, and my exam tomorrow is on my eight-week option on legal anthropology. It's actually kind of nice to sit down with a few articles and really dig into it tonight instead of flitting between capoira and the finer distinctions of Kabre and Tiv exchange spheres and the crisis of representation and just hoping they hang together in the end. I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I left the exam, and then got shushed because the Exam Schools are strict that way.

- Sadly, I was all tricked out for questions on agency, resistance, and violence, and none of those topics were on any of this year's exams. I still had plenty to write about, but I'm really, really glad I revised for all the topics we covered and didn't only do twelve of the eighteen like I had planned. I would have bombed. You can't take a question about colors and answer it with your thoughts about the anthropology of genocide, although that didn't stop me from considering it.

- I walked into Starbucks after the exam and the woman at the register and I conducted our exchange wordlessly, except when I mumbled a thank you at the end. This is a bad sign.

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