Despite nearly a dozen quarters of academic experience at Stanford University, upperclassmen gathered in Manzanita Dining were somehow still in shock regarding their impending midterm exams this coming week.

“Oh God, how do we have a midterm already?  The quarter just started,” came one student’s inconceivable complaint.

“I know, right?  We haven’t even learned anything yet,” another naively commiserated.

The implausible bewilderment built to a crescendo when a conversational newcomer threw in his original insight: “How is it even a midterm if you aren’t midway through the quarter.  Am I right, guys?”

The conversation ended with all parties acknowledging that it was far too early in the quarter to already be having midterms, an agreement that – ludicrously lost on everyone – had been reached by these same friends in seven of the past nine academic quarters.

At press time, this quarter has been going by so quickly, don’t you think?

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