Confessions, pt. 3: Lit Hum Exam Leaked

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sdfdsYou probably didn’t hear it here first: the freshman class, according to numerous sources, is buzzing with the knowledge that content from the Lit Hum final was leaked to at least one class prior to the exam.

Details are shady, but first-years tell of widespread indignation when the exam let out at 3:30 on Friday that many students had received a “study guide” with areas to look for passage IDs and vague ideas of essay topics. The most solid information Bwog has been able to obtain indicates that a female seminar leader gave the information to her entire class, and that it spread via floors and sports teams until hundreds of students had seen the notes, which one source spotted lying around Butler Café after the exam.

“Anybody could have gotten 10 out of 10 on the IDs,” said one source.

The Associate Dean of the Core Curriculum has been informed of the prevalence of alleged leaks. Bwog will update you as more information becomes available.

NOTICE, 4:45 PM: As part of a pending comment policy revision, comments with full names will be removed at the request of the target, no questions asked. We live in the age of Google, kids. If you must name names, use initials or something.

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  2. loneliness  

    I wish I had friends who told me about the passage IDs.

  3. yeah whatever  


  4. argh  

    but the ids were easy anyways... that's so ridiculous.

  5. stooopid  

    i can't believe the seminar leader did such a thing. i know people from her class, they're all 'tards so i guess she felt bad for having a class full of idiots.


  6. that's  

    why giving the same final for the whole freshman class is absurd. a teacher should be able to teach according to the level of the class, and if that means spoon-feeding a bunch of not so bright ones than so be it.

  7. i mean  

    if a teacher spreads it initially, on whom does the blame rest? it seems that if everyone else already has the answers, you are just staying competitive by obtaining them too. i know thats a lousy reality but seriously, in their shoes, i'd probably do the same.

  8. idea  

    i have an idea!

    annul the exam. set it again on friday :-)

  9. Those responsible  

    Alvah Bessie
    Herbert Biberman
    Lester Cole
    Edward Dmytryk
    Ring Lardner Jr.
    John Howard Lawson
    Albert Maltz
    Samuel Ornitz
    Adrian Scott
    Dalton Trumbo

  10. Is this a big deal  

    When the teacher shared the information? I mean, it reminds me of high school when one class would be told exactly what to study by their teacher and it would enrage the rest of us, but it's the fault of the teacher. There's nothing that says that we can't share study guides or class notes with peers in other classes.

  11. Bessie is  

    so guilty.

  12. i knew  

    a couple people in that class. they said the prof didn't give exact answers (she didn't say which quotes would correspond to which numbers on the exam) but she told them very accurate approximations of what would be on the test, so they knew a lot of what to study. most people knew she gave them an unfair advantage but i don't think that anybody thought of it as cheating (e.g. nobody closeted it the way they would, cheating - it circulated through a big chunk of the class). the ids were easy anyway though, I don't think there's any way of disciplining anyone but the professor

  13. ha ha  

    Um, FYI, none of those people go to Columbia. All are pseudo-famous writer-folk.

  14. Wait  

    All lit hum classes have the same final? Was it like that years ago, too?

  15. I bet you  

    I bet you $100,000,000 Bessie is COLUMBIA

  16. jeez  

    chill out. she gave them ideas on what to study. the review session was more thorough than others. i can see why the administration cares, but the students? please.

  17. Avi Zenilman  

    Hopefully, this will lead the administration to realize that a standardized lit hum exam is stupid, and not lead them to crack down on cheating.

  18. Seriously  

    Go write your paper

  19. Elna

    I wish I could confess myself shocked. But I can't. The teacher should have known better, and now she is going to be the one seriously screwed as a result of her student's inability to keep their mouths closed. People should not be mad, however...I mean, if you read the books, the exam is a cinch.

  20. but  

    why on earth did every instructor have access to a copy of the final? Did they all write it together at one BIG meeting?
    I mean, I know we only hire trustworthy people and all that, but they would have had to spend extra effort to make sure everyone knew. Why spend the effort?

    • actually  

      isn't that kind of what happens? I seem to remember my lit hum instructor talking about meetings like that, although he certainly wouldn't have ever given us those kinds of hints.

  21. Anonymous  

    Does anyone actually have the hints to see exactly how bad it was?

  22. I f eel like  

    Since lit hum finals are not graded on a standard, giving an entire class the same advantage on a test isn't problematic, it's only when they tell some in other classes that it becomes a problem.Lit hum passge IDs are easy. The only time it is maybe hard is if they give you a random passage from Decameron that your class happened to not look at at all.

  23. does that mean  

    I get an A?

  24. snooze

    What's new? they've been giving the answers out to the jocks for years.

  25. oh come on

    lit hum was easy. especially the identifications.

  26. keith smith  

    omg she is such a hoe!

  27. it's ironic  

    in a way: the real source of the indignation is probably that the people who didn't know had no idea that it was out there, while those who did had a much easier time studying for what was already a fairly easy exam: I mean, regardless of where the actual passage turned out to be, to be told the location of the decameron passage saves significant time.

    at the same time, the students are still at fault for ingenious laziness: if the track team and anyone else who took it on thursday had been given the same final as the rest of the class (which, notably, they weren't), they would have been guilty of cheating if they said only approximate ideas of the passages

  28. Well  

    The exam is def. generally the same, because those of us with teachers who gave us a little variation got supplemental ID sheets with passages from the different works we read. Weren't allowed to have different essays from anybody else, though.

  29. dsz  

    I thought this was common practice -- my second semester "professor" for lithum gave us very pointed advice about what to study and why re: the essays. I heard that many other profs do the same.

  30. why?  

    This is quite strange. If the teacher felt bad for her unprepared students taking an exam that was too hard due to standardization, couldn't she have just taken that into account when grading the final or giving final scores?

    I mean, the test is standardized but grades are by section.

    • yes, but  

      then the teacher would have had to work to come up with a curve. it's probably easier to grade a test you know your students got right because you told them what the questions would be. maybe somebody had summer plans they had to rush off to, and wanted to make grading go faster.

  31. Solo  

    It it really that bad? Compared to the Chem exam/fire alarm debacle of last semester, this Lit Hum leak isn't exactly noteworthy except for the fact that a professor and not just some over-aggressive students instigated this mess.

  32. yawn

    Welcome to reality folks. I remember kids in my high school getting caught cheating (studying off a stolen copy of a test). The school applied to disciplinary action, no record was made. They all made national honor society blah blah. It's great to be white and upper middle class.

  33. here is a good idea  

    KICK ALL THE STUPID FOOTBALL PLAYERS OUT OF COLUMBIA! None of those ignorant and worthless bros deserve to be here anyway. Those who passed out the cheat sheet (beginning with the teacher), and going down through every person who took the cheat sheet should be PUNISHED.

    • chief  

      this is all the teacher's fault and has nothing to do with the students. If they were given information by the teacher they may not have taken it seriously because everyone knows that some teachers will give hints as to what is important, etc...your just bitter because you probably lost your girl to one of the football players....enough said

  34. terry  

    let me clarify this for some of you. the teacher didn't merely give the students ideas of what was important and what was not; the teacher gave exact pages to look at, and, in some cases, the exact passages that would be on the test. how is that possibly fair to other students who took the same test?

  35. word  

    For those of you who want to deny it, let me clarify for you: IT WAS CHEATING.

  36. a little birdy said  

    That lots of cheat sheet spreading took place on John Jay 10.

  37. Reni  

    Too bad I didn't read half the books and still knew all the stupid did these kids in this class have to be to need the IDs?

  38. chief  

    this is all the teacher's fault and has nothing to do with the students. If they were given information by the teacher they may not have taken it seriously because everyone knows that some teachers will give hints as to what is important, etc...your just bitter because you probably lost your girl to one of the football players....enough said

  39. footballers = stupid  


  40. Anonymous  

    and also, regarding the cheat sheet. the passage id's were pretty much dead on. but the passages from Crime and Punishment and Dante were incorrect. The passage analysis books were given but no other information regarding that section. And the essays were given.

  41. Has anyone else  

    noticed that the other classes don't seem to have all of these problems? I feel like the entire CC 2010 class should be expelled now to save the college from further embarassment.

  42. Hey Greer  

    I think you should be the first to get in trouble since not only do you think it's totally OK to cheat (due to your extensive knowledge of the rumored cheat sheet) but you also are low enough to out students who have morals. See you in hell fuckface!

    FYI, Bwog can track your IP address to the exact computer you are located on so yeah, have fun cheater!

  43. senior  

    you children are a shame and embarrassment. I guess what they say about every other year comprising the better classes is true...the 2009s are going somewhere.

  44. Anonymous  

    The comment from "Greer" simply cemented my/the entire college's lack of respect for 2010 as a whole. Seriously, has our class done ANYTHING right?

    • mike  

      I'm confused. Where is Greer outing people or saying she thinks it's okay to cheat?

      Not that I'm a big fan of cheating or gloating about it, but her post seemed to be just informing the rest of us how specific the cheat sheet was. Did I miss something?


    To the pitchforks and torches! Witch hunt it is!!!

  46. true true  

    all lit hum teachers give their students guides on what to study. it come down to whether the students knew this was actual exam material

  47. angry freshman  

    listen...i'll give you the fucking bottom line - some teacher gave her kids the answers in advance, she didn't say 'these are the passages', but she did say 'look at page 97 of to the lighthouse' or 'camilla in book 11 of the aeneid'...let's say 300 kids got to look at that sheet before - how is that fair to the other 1000 who didn't, there is no curve to fix it, the teacher can't just grade her own class differently because who knows who in what class looked at the end of the day, the whole exam is now fucked up, for those of you who think IDs are easy you're ridiculous and you know not everyone feels like that - that being said, i am an A lit hum student and i don't fucking find them easy i work my ass off trying to do is just unfair to kids who studied hard and just lost their edge on the rest of the class because one teacher fucked up

  48. To mike  

    in a post that has since been deleted by bwog greer alleged that a student expressed outrage to a teacher

    • mike  

      I thought when bwog deletes a comment, they leave a record of it, like #61, which is the only one that indicates being deleted and happened after people flipped out at greer.

      I still don't really understand what she did. She "alleged that a student expressed outrage to a teacher"? So basically she said someone else was pissed at the teacher? Perhaps I'm slow, but I'm still not understanding.

  49. eli  

    actually a ta sent an email to his section saying who complained, so fuck off. a mr higginbotham. this would be juicier if someone had died. or if you had the emails. CLASS OF 2010 IS CLASSY (w/ the exception of MarkModessitt AND STAYING ALLIVE! so fuck all you hatas, you just so jealy b/c yall aint hot. you don't know me!

    • mike  

      I really hope that commenter was
      a) drunk
      or b) someone pretending to be a dumb '10er

      because otherwise it saddens me that someone so incoherent goes to the same school as I do. What the hell are you talking about?

      This whole controversy just keeps getting more confusing.

  50. wait  

    So are you saying that a LitHum professor - I assume Mr. Higgenbottom who is a TA told his students who complained about the cheat sheet? That is not right or fair to the student who expressed genuine concern about rampant cheating

  51. read  

    I think what was being said to Greer in an earlier post had to do with them saying who complained to their teacher about the cheating and then saying which two IDs were wrong on the cheat sheet, obviously showing that they knew the cheat sheet pretty well. Bwog deleted it but I saw it before it was deleted.

  52. clinically proven  

    that odd-numbered year kids are ugly and lame. so shutup '07/09.

    and 07 shouldnt be saying that the calss of 2010 is making a big deal. 2 words: Class day

    at least the lit hum thing is serious. and the students are partly to blame but its really the etachers fault so don't say that this reflects on the class of 2010. yes there are some cheaters but who gave them the answers, or rather the blatant hints?

    everyone, stop being a douche.

  53. serves them right  

    let this be an excellent lesson to the core. do NOT standardize the lit hum exam, and shit like this CAN'T HAPPEN. but you SHOULD curve the grades overall, to ensure that there is no advantage in having one prof over another.

  54. Reggie  

    Im just mad because I didn't get to see the study guide...

    • yup true  

      This is why the core has a gigantic mess on its hands now. Anyone who didn't do as well as they would have liked now has a good case to have their grade changed.

      I hope the Core decides for once to do the decent thing and curve the grades up. Good luck freshmen.

    • angry freshman  

      I'm more upset at the integrity of the school - if 600 kids had this study guide, you are telling me not ONE of them is going to say something to the teacher before hand to aviod all of this, no one has that foresight? There was no way this was going to just blow over, i guarentee something happens, they will either not count the final and boost class participation grades and paper grades or they will count the midterm as more...needless to say there is no way that they will let it go or that this will get cleaned up nicely. and this lit hum prof is without question going to be asked to leave the school

      • sophist sophomore  

        Well, for one, we don't know how this study guide was worded. If it said THIS WILL BE ON THE FINAL then yeah, this Lit Hum prof will probably lose her job. But somebody said above that all profs give a study guide to their students, and it's possible other study guides were biased towards the exam, too. This is why the core needs to NOT let profs see the exams beforehand! They unconcsiously become biased towards teaching material that is on it.

        Also, while you're right about integrity, I kind of trust my profs to have more integrity than students. Even if one kid spoke up, I'd be surprised if the Core were able to get its act together overnight and pull up an old final to distribute. We'll see what happens.

  55. No integrity  

    I'm you not still have finals to study for? us all a favor and shut the fuck up...I am one of the many students who got sent that message...and because I didn't alert the offices before the exam..that calls me integrity into question?....that study guide..was one of MANY i received from mine and other classes..including IDs..and past papers...many of which had Ids that were on the I now a bad person for not alerting the to every study guide I got..when there was no guarantee that it would show up on the exam ..THE NEXT I a psychic?...please tell me how was I supposed to know...once again...fuck off

    • sophist sophomore  

      I completely agree with you. When I receive a study guide, I always assume there is more information on it than necessary. Unless the study guide explicitly noted that the material would be on the exam, there's no solid way you could have known that the study guide you were given was unfairly detailed. Students won't be punished for this.

  56. No integrity  

    that was for you..angry freshman

    • angry freshman  

      listen here no integrity...althogh i don't personally have the fucking study sheet, i have heard from a friend who got it that when he got it he KNEW that it was a legit representation of what would be on the exam. I also know that when I got into my room and the tests got handed out, a bunch of people looked around at eachother and started laughing. I am not an idiot, I recieved study guides and past exam quotes from friends as well - but i did not recieve a guide that was a completely laid out version of the test --- THAT is cheating, and had I gotten that, I would have probably said, congrats on your cheap ass A, and you can go fuck yourself off....

      • sophist sophomore  

        when your PROFESSOR gives you the study guide you have to expect that what they are giving you is fair. that is what a teacher is supposed to do! it's the teacher's fault for writing a biased study guide. frankly i wouldn't want to tell on my prof and try to get her fired right before a fucking final! Act high and mighty and honest if you wish, but you are angry that you didn't get to see the study guide. and chill the FUCK OUT you will probably get a higher grade than you anticipate because of this!

      • chief  

        angry freshman......when was the last time you went out?

  57. regina  

    everyone here is angry, you all need to find lovas!

  58. for the record  

    90% of the people I know did NOT receive study guides from their LitHum teachers. Study sessions, yes, study guides NO.

    Rumor is that this study guide had exact page numbers which just so happened to be on the test the next day. THIS IS CHEATING. THE END.

  59. mary poppins  

    read some poetry, take a nice bubble bath...with your lova!

  60. dawg  

    this is all whack yo

  61. man  

    fuck lit hum where's the frontiers cheat sheet?

  62. No Integrity  

    dear "for the record"

    thanks for establishing the fact that you did not see said study guid..."rumor has it huh?"

    Thus, please refrain from commenting on the guide. Said sheet had only one page reference.....and for those people that intensely studied the guide..oh well..they got fucked over on the two IDs that were different from the study guide...this issue has been blown out of was a mistake on the professors part..get over it..when a friend sends another friend..a study guide to help them is wrong with that...may we all get over ourselves..and secondly..get over shit hum

  63. come on alex!

    not that this matters because only at a school like columbia would people get their panties in bunches over something like this, but why not keep the exam a secret from everyone (including indsturctors) until, well, the exam?

    • sophist sophomore  

      "not that this matters because only at a school like columbia would people get their panties in bunches over something like this, but why not keep the exam a secret from everyone (including indsturctors) until, well, the exam?"

      ding ding ding! the core office should have seen this coming. I'm sure it's not the first time it's happened, either.

  64. Anonymous

    This is just a huge mess, and I think the upperclassmen are being a bit high and mighty by pointing fingers at the '10ers. Similar things like this have happened in other classes for years. In history classes, certain TAs will tell their students the IDs or essays from the tests, while others are left in the dark. It's great for you if you or a friend is in that discussion section, but completely unfair to everyone else.

    I understand the core office wants to keep the curriculum as standardized as possible, but certain teachers supplement, change and remove parts of the final anyway, so they should just let them do what they want. Then you don't end up with a situation like this, which is completely unnecessary.

  65. No Integrity  

    so..angry freshman...because your one friend "knew" it was legit.....that means that everyone else knew that as well?...I see a bright future for you in law

    p.s- sophist sophomore....I hope I can be like you one day

    • a couple of things  

      first, much of what we need to know about "no integrity" is that he/she referred to the course as shit hum. methinks he/she didn't exactly care for the course and was probably happy to get some help. really, anyone who just got a great grade (with or without help) is pretty sad to be that bitter.

      second, this wasn't a study guide or spark notes or anything general like that. it was, as help goes, remarkably specific, and, as has been said, got a person 8 out of the 10 IDs (also, if you're dumb enough to get those exact 8 and then mess up the two that are changed, that's exactly the kind of behavior that cheaters exhibit - you'd think it would be obvious that the passages weren't the same, but they don't often study nearly as much).

      finally, despite whatever idiot said that you had to know it was legit to be in trouble, that is just plain old wrong: students are responsible for figuring out what's right and what's wrong. if you make a mistake, and get punished for it, that's just too bad: "i didn't know it was wrong" is not a legit defense here.

      lastly, i'll come out as a 2010 member (who got 9 out of 10 ids) and say that while 2007 needs to shut up with all its whining about matthew fox, it's sad that this didn't get on the radar until after the fact.

      all that's left to do is at least fire the teacher and curve it up to make up for the disparity.

  66. you can do it!

    *instructors. OOPS!

  67. my older brother!

    well, lots of classes use study guides. they'll give you something like 200 possible identifications (or some ungodly number) where maybe 10 will show up on the actual exam. i really have no problem with that as the terms are normally used as, well, a guide in going over everything covered throughout the term.

    but this sounds different.

  68. hmm  

    They got "fucked over" in the sense that the Core Office - which has requested all bluebooks - is aware of the two different IDs. If you got 8/10 IDs correct (except Dante and Dostoevsky) you or your teacher - or both! - have no integrity, and your reward is that the Core Office is about to bust you. Congrats!

    • look at them dance!

      The core office won't penalize the students.

    • hmmm # 103 could the core office bust the class for this? It was obviously the teacher's fault and you can't get in trouble for something that your seminar leader told you....what are you talking about

    • angry freshman  

      ...sigh of relief...i'm going to go have a beer - good luck no intergrity - i hope you brushed up on your crime and punishment...see you in purgatorio

    • mike  

      Regardless of whether they deserve it or not, it's REALLY unlikely that the students are going to get busted for this. It would be exceedingly difficult to prove who saw/disseminated the guide (an 8/10 on IDs isn't exactly damning evidence) especially considering everyone's going to be off campus in a matter of days.

  69. i love you  

    No integrity...yeah thats right..i love you

  70. uh oh  

    I got 9/10 IDs (all but Dante). Do I get classified as "no integrity" for the 8 and as "psychic" (or "diligent", "intelligent" perhaps) for the Dostoevsky one?

  71. an announcement.



    ::runs away::

  72. oh hellz no  

    angry freshman..."brushed up on your crime and punishment..see you in purgatorio"


    such blatant tool-ism shall not be accepted....please ..never do that speaks well of your social life..or lack there of

  73. angry freshman  

    oh cmon, don't get on my case for wanting to have the last word - this is between me and no integrity...i actually don't think the students should be punished for this, it's just a shitty situation is all

  74. roar-ee

    i'm happy to report that columbia will conclude the 2006-07 academic year with yet another scandal.

    roar, lion!

  75. angry freshman  

    I see the error of my WAY this was in fact not cheating i am a giant douche BAG and I think that I probabaly had my fucking HEAD up my ASS, i decided THAT not only would i HAVE used the cheat sheet (not probably anymore BUT definitly) I would have collected them ALL so my hard working ASS could have gotten the ONLY A and I wouldnt have lost my EDGE

    in conclusion I am a VIRGIN

  76. angry freshman  

    you're seriously gonna get on my case about dropping the name of the book as a's the name of the book, i didn't make a full out reference - i didn't say that i would ascend to paradisio quicker becuase i didn't cheat...i simply dropped the name of the book as a joke, it's a saying too - see you in hell, see you in purgatorio...i really think you are blowing this out of proportion

  77. david helfand  

    You should all go study for frontiers, you are probably going to fail!

    Oh yeah, and that paradisio line really wasn't that bad...

  78. Solo  

    Dear Seniors: Fuck off, and have fun with Matthew Fox for class day. This doesn't concern you. This matter will negatively affect a lot of hard-working 2010 students. In defense of "no integrity", how many of you upperclassmen have made a study guide or received one from a friend? Understandably, this case is different since there was a leak from the faculty-end and students who knew that the study guide in question accurately reflected the exam. This is speculation, but I'm sure many of the people who received yet another study guide from a friend didn't know that it in fact was a leaked exam.

    • mike  

      He's right guys. Freshman have declared ownership of Bwog, or at least this article. Everyone else, let's pack it up and leave.

      Seriously guys, this is turning class against class. Wasn't it all so much simpler when we could all just come together and blame all our problems on GS students. Speaking of which, this was all the GS students' fault! My cousin's girlfriend's sister's friend is in that LitHum section and they said that a GS student told them to cheat. This is all THEIR fault! Let's break out some new torches.

  79. damn  

    a friend showed it to me and i chuckled at him "Oh silly, someone's pulling your leg." well, i'd have gotten the damn aeneid ID and my essay wouldn't have been about the ending to a book i only read 100 pgs of.

  80. ok??  

    we got the gist of your joke angry freshman....but as chief..and oh hellz kindly was a horrid joke at that

    how about everyone actually wait for the official ruling of the core office...and stop the gets us no where

  81. lol  

    ~*~legendary~*~ post

  82. No Integrity  

    "a couple of things"

    describing it as shit you implied...shows that i am not a fan of lit hum...that does not mean that I did not study my ass off to get a good grade for it...I am pretty sure that not everyone likes lit hum..but it doesnt mean that they "cheat" means that I even though I fall asleep while reading my books...I consult the redbull..and pull through in the end...this guide was one of many materials I received from friends...receiving and looking at the guide does not mean you did not do your work......damn there I go writing an essay again..peace

  83. crimson '10

    this '10er is sick of trivial nonsense like this and is leaving columbia for harvard. so long, suckers!

  84. my humps  

    my humps
    my humps
    my humps

    check it out

  85. decisions  

    so I just bought a cadillac

    should I throw some D's on that bitch?

  86. what else is new?  

    Ummmm, do you guys really think this is the first time this has happened? Last year someone on my floor had notes (her own, handwritten notes) from a review session the instructor had held for them. Every single ID passage was on there, and there was very very little in the way of Red Herrings. And the "practice" essay questions? Again, there were questions there that did not appear on the exam, but all that did end up on the exam were there. This is not new. Its just that no one has been dumb enough to put it on paper before.

  87. grumble...  

    [irony]The only thing that we should complain about is why not everyone of the Lit Hum taking crowd was equipped with the cheat sheat. This just shows that the logistics in the class are not working out yet. If it had been organized properly evryone would have had a copy and could have chosen to take use of it or not.[/irony]

  88. Raya

    It is crystal clear from the wording of the "study guide," if you just LOOK at it, that it was NOT in fact a "handout" from the professor. Rather, it consists of notes taken by a student during the review session, and subsequently circulated to others. The first note reads: "Too the lighthouse- Will be a difficult passage, know the candles reference -p. 97 cyclical, she hinted it may be this passage but would not say."

    There is no way that an assistant prof. of English at Columbia would (a) misspell "To the Lighthouse"; (b) mis-capitalize "To the Lighthouse";
    (c) refer to herself on a handout in the third person ("she hinted that it would be this passage...");
    (d) write such a garbled, incoherent set of fragments (what does the one word "cyclical" mean in this [lack of] context?).

    These are the notes of a student who was hurriedly taking down as much as she could of what was said ORALLY during the review session. And yes, the Lit. Hum. exam is voted on by the entire Lit. Hum. faculty, so for every section, it usually turns out that there are a couple IDs on there from passages that that section didn't look at in class. (The books are long, you have to make choices and can't get to absolutely everything.) Therefore, most sections' profs will, during the review session, say something like "By the way, don't assume that just because we didn't talk much about Book 11 of the Aeneid in class that it won't be on the exam. In fact, you should be sure to look at that book as well as the passages we spent more time on. ...Now, who can summarize for me the role Camilla plays in the Aeneid?" -- or words to that effect. In other words, they gently direct you to look at passages that you might otherwise assume, based on your work in class, could be safely ignored. But they don't do the intellectual work for you (i.e. the heavy lifting of saying WHY the ID passage is significant, what it means, how it fits into the text as a whole, etc) -- and indeed, I see scant evidence that the teacher in this case did that either. It seems to me that even if you know the essay topics in advance, you still have to have something interesting and original to say about them, or you're going to fail.

    Also, NEWSFLASH: you only get 1 point out of 5 for knowing which book the ID passage is from. The rest of the points come from WHAT YOU SAY about the passage quoted -- its imagery, connection to larger themes in the work, use of language, etc. So just knowing that "the Dostoevsky ID will be from the Epilogue" isn't much help at all (even if true). You still have to have something intelligent and thoughtful to say about the quotation -- a brief analysis which shows you are familiar with the WHOLE text, not just the bit quoted -- or you are going to fail.

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