Stop stressing about midterms: Failing is just performance art

Carmel Stephan, Has never been out of Character

Illustration by Eli Rodriguez.

Students all around campus have taken to calling their failed midterms ‘performance art.’ As a great connoisseur of the absurd and abstract (see my 10th grade short film commenting on Neo-Dadaism) I find this new school-wide movement very exciting. Without further ado, here are three of my favorite performances pieces in this inspired campus movement. 

Alfred P: Geo midterm at 10 on Tuesday. Arrived 20 minutes late having not prepared for the test because they spent the last week watching all of J.K. Simmons’ filmography. Failing the exam with a 55%, this exemplifies the struggling but stable relationship between the nature of storytelling that is prevalent in both J.K. Simmons’s illustrious career and geology. 

Lena J: Physics midterm at 11 on Thursday, forgot all material when handed the test. Only thing they could remember was Bette Midler’s 2017 Tony acceptance speech, and wrote that down instead. Failing with a 2%, this critiques how our knowledge is tested, what sticks, and what resurfaces. This exemplifies how performances build on each other. Lena was inspired by Midler, without Midler’s contribution to the canon this performance wouldn’t have been possible, yet Lena’s work was still original and a product of their being, all of which is to say, inspiration does not equal unoriginality. 

Tyson T: French midterm at 8 a.m. on Monday, has never spoken or heard French before, save when they watched the movie Amelie everyday for a month at age 12. Falling with a 23%, this illustrates how the media prepubescents consume has a deep impact on how personalities are structured and learning interests. Tyson unconsciously took French because of Amelie, and despite never going to class because it was at 8 a.m. and Tyson had never gone to bed before 6 a.m., it was an effort directly motivated by that film, to learn about the language and culture of France. 

So stop stressing about that calc midterm and show some commitment to the craft. This is your chance to finally prove yourself as the great artist you are; no one may understand you, but everyone will respect you.