Midterm Season: Salzburg Style

Many of you may be familiar with the word midterm, some may have even experienced it first hand! Either way, it is a word that really catches you off guard while abroad. The program is really supposed to be a study abroad, but I’m pretty sure everyone either avoids or ignores the “study” part until it is quite literally the day before the exam, essay, homework, presentation, etc. A few of my fellow peers on this trip studied for days in anticipation for their exams, maybe one or two hours a day. I, on the contrary, decided it would be fine to cram and study the day before. Let me take you on my one day journey in preparation for my Music History II exam. I really did try to start studying at least a few days early, for example, as we were coming back on the train from Vienna I managed to memorize about 3 and a half pages (of 20). I calculated that if I memorized 5 pages per day I would be ready for Wednesday. However, I wanted to explore, I wanted to go on walks, I wanted to eat ice cream, I wanted to be my best self while abroad! This was my first mistake, I had class Monday morning and my lesson later that afternoon. Since we had been in Vienna since Thursday, I had not had the chance to practice my songs and took up most of my afternoon warming up and practicing. Can any other musician relate? I didn’t get back to Kolpinghaus until around 6:30 PM which meant I missed dinner and therefore had to go buy dinner for myself. Tuesday morning I woke up early to start studying because I knew we had an excursion after lunch, however, due to the bad weather we have been experiencing in Salzburg, it ended up getting canceled. After lunch, we came back to Kolpinghaus and began the real study session. Let me tell you that I almost lost my mind studying for that exam, we definitely underestimated its difficulty. My roommate Emily, who is a violinist, and I began to tackle the auditive part of the exam. Bach, Händel, Romeau, Charisimmi, and Monteverdi were all influential composers during the Baroque time period. The funny thing is, all of their compositions sounded very similar making it difficult to hear a piece and identify the name, composer, and genre. Midnight came and passed and I was exhausted, I went to sleep and set my alarm for 6:30 AM. The next morning was truly crunch time as we frantically tried to memorize last minute details. We entered the classroom at 9:15 AM and began our exam. Although I have not gotten my grade back, I think I did fine and now know that I will have to set aside more time to study for my final in 2 weeks.

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