Next Monday and Tuesday are the midterm exams for my classes. We’re on the quarter system so classes don’t end until the middle of June, hence the late midterms. One of the things I always tell students is that they need to get sleep before their exam. Yes, the extra studying might make you feel virtuous, but the extra sleep will allow you to think better, and the latter is much more helpful in an exam situation. What I forget is that the same is true for instructors writing exams.

I spent much of the morning unproductively trying to write questions for the midterm exams. I had only partially written one question by the time I had to go pick up my daughter from school. It turns out that she had a spontaneous playdate, so that I had an extra two hours to myself this afternoon. I spent one of those hours taking a nap, which allowed me to use the second hour to write solutions to two more questions. So in one hour post-nap I wrote more code than I had in the previous four hours together. The ability to think clearly is helpful whether you’re writing or taking the exam, which is something I’ll try to remember when the final exam rolls around.

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