Last Friday, I met up with a law school friend for lunch. As we waited for another friend to join us, we chatted a bit about the weekend. Then he said “So how many finals do you have?”
I paused, then said “You know what? Let’s talk about something else. People ask that question all the time during finals. I know what they really mean is ‘How stressed out are you?’ The number of finals is meant as a measure for stress and work. But that’s not interesting to me. Let’s talk about something interesting. What are you looking forward to for winter break?”
We then had a lovely conversation about his plans to visit his brother-in-law in Texas.
It’s finals week right now, and people are working hard. Some are stressing out. Finals is on everyone’s minds. There’s no need to stress each other out more.
So if you ask me “How many finals do you have?” I will probably say “Let’s talk about something interesting. What’s one thing you learned from the class? What surprised you? What are you hoping for during winter break?”