Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Julia's Top Ten List for Finals, by blogger of the month Julia Rubin-Smith

As November blogger (and December blogger ninja) Ross Green mentioned in his last post, Caroline House is a place where many of us spend a lot of time, especially during exams. For the most part there is a routine to what goes on here, with few surprises (unlike the study room in the student center on the main campus, where a stray cat once climbed onto my laptop keyboard and started inadvertently typing a nonsensical email to my mother). Here are 10 things you can count on seeing here every day:

1) Security guards. Caroline house has security guards on duty around the clock. In fact, it seems that every 15 minutes there is a new one! This serves two purposes: one, keeps them alert. Two, when your dad comes to visit, and tries to marry you off to one of them, the embarrassment will be fleeting. (Hi Adie’s dad!) 

2) Israelis. For those of you who don’t know, Caroline House is the student center for the BGU Faculty of Health Sciences, which includes MSIH as well as the Israeli medical and health sciences students. Israelis who study in Caroline House can be counted on to be there between noon and 7pm, and to be speaking in their “outdoor” voices. The chatter is punctuated by a wide variety of jaunty cell phone ring tones, adding some much needed music to our days.

A typical study table layout. Please don't judge us -
we're very busy, and the Indian restaurant delivers!
3) Junior Israelis. A number of Israeli students tutor local children in math and English. The layout of Caroline house is conducive to tutoring small groups so they congregate here between the hours of 3 and 5pm. I’ll let you imagine what that does to the activity level in the study room.

4) Free dinners. After a few days of studying at Caroline, we noticed an unexplained influx of med students at 6:55pm every day. Turns out, the snack bar upstairs closes for the day at 7pm, at which point the friendly attendant gives away leftover sandwiches, pastries, and soup to beggars 
med students. A great way to save money, though not great for our waistlines!

5) Sweatpants. These are mandatory study accessories for MSIH students. Really, they’re the height of fashion. Some of us have even started sporting BGU sweatshirts, which really round out the outfit. 

6) Sleeping med students. Many of us spend the majority of our days here during exams. We all cope with this in different ways, from bringing our own kum kums (electric tea kettles) to taking cat naps on the couches (and in some cases on plastic chairs). You can also frequently find sleeping med students in the classrooms (during breaks, of course), but that’s a subject for another time.

7) Fantastic parking jobs. See picture. No need for further explanation, I think.

Why would you park there?
8) Sun patches. Now that it’s winter (though it was a balmy 76 degrees today), the sun sets around 4:30pm. I usually go outside for a “sun break” around 3, at which point there is generally one patch of sun on the grass to stand in. On weekends I have this sun patch gloriously to myself. On weekdays the sun patch is completely filled with Israeli students, all standing together and packed tightly as sardines. I don’t know how they do it, but not a single one is ever pushed off the patch and into the shade.

9) Mess. We are slobs. Period. But hey, at least we clean up after ourselves when we leave!

10) Chocolate. Someone ALWAYS brings chocolate. Honestly, I don’t know how we would get through exams without it. Sometimes, when it is not obvious where the chocolate is, an email will go out asking who brought it today. We’re never disappointed! -blogger of the month Julia Rubin-Smith