Monday, October 21, 2013

Studying for Midterms: An Unloved Tradition

The story originally intended for this assignment, a piece about racquetball players at Eppley, turned out to be impossible to cover due to the Eppley Recreation Center's strict no-photography policy. (Or at least that's what the employees told me. Eppley's website only mentions photography being prohibited when you do not have permission of the people you are photographing, and I had permission from the racquetball subjects.)

Chris Lowman, left, and Zack DeGraba, right, enter the Eppley Recreation Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. on October 20, 2013. A weekly match of racquetball has become a tradition for the two.
Upon being immediately turned away at the door, it became painfully clear this story would not pan out.

Without many other newsworthy events or situations to be found on campus on a Sunday night, an impromptu human-interest story would have to take its place. Thus:

Judy Joklik, sophomore Archaeology major at the University of Maryland, groans at the prospect of the late-night study session ahead in her room on October 20, 2013. With midterm season in full swing, many students are buckling down hard on studying for the first time this semester.
Alex Hursey, sophomore Education major at the University of Maryland, browses Facebook between reading articles for a class. For a generation that is constantly plugged in, social media ranks as one of the most common distractors for students.

Joklik pours hot water over a teabag. Perhaps a dose of caffeine will stimulate the drive to study.

Joklik glances through handwritten notes from lectures. Even in a digital world, simple class attendance and note-taking skills are among the most important tools in a student's success. 

Hursey and Joklik take a break from studying and get some fresh air near the Denton Community on the northern end of the University of Maryland's campus. 

A late-night pit-stop to refuel at the 24 Shop, a convenience store located in the center of the Denton Community at the University of Maryland. Salt and sugar are the main staples here, providing sustenance and comfort to students even in an age where claims of brain-enhancing superfoods hit the news regularly.

Hursey and Joklik walk back to their room in Oakland Hall. The floor is near silent; quiet-hour rules are not being broken tonight.  

Back in her room and back to the grind, Joklik reads testable material from her laptop. After this week, she expects peace —at least until finals season.

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