This isn’t an article about finals

Instead of worrying about death or being eaten by another animal, a sun-soaked squirrel ponders deep questions of identity. Luckily, the womp womp is able to answer the biggest question on our minds, which is not how to ace our upcoming econ final. The womp womp happily responds that they are 90 percent butt!/ Courtesy of Samana Shrestha

As the headline for this article suggests, this is not a 700- to 800-word article about finals. It will not mention the massive workloads, nor the panic associated with waking up the morning after Founder’s Day and realizing I have three research papers to write and two exams to study for. One of my professors assigned a final research paper and a final exam. There should be a law against that. How is that fair? Why do we need two labor-intensive ultimate assessments? The final is essay-based, too, which seems even more unfair. If it were multiple choice, fine, that’s fine, I can handle a multiple-choice exam and a final paper. But an essay-based final exam and a final research paper? This is untoward, and I don’t know why I’m standing for it.

That’s not what this article is about though. This is an article in the Humor section, designed to alleviate and distract students from the intensity of the world around them, including the stress of the last two weeks of the academic year. For this piece, I shall pick a lighthearted topic, unrelated to the rhetoric of de-Stalinization or the evolution of the modern soft drink industry through an urban studies lens with a medieval and Renaissance surprise twist ending. None of those things matter here. The only important things are the laughter, the chuckles—the tears of 2 a.m. have no bearing on this Humor section. Introspection about issues of overachieving, high-pressure educational institutions and an effort to put the current moment in its broader context are entirely irrelevant. This week, I will stick to the jokes.

I just realized I’m close to halfway through this article, and I still haven’t mentioned the real topic for this week: womp womps, which are everyone’s favorite furry friends. They’re so cute and charming because, like ducks and bears, they’re 90 percent butt. They waddle around, rocking to either side as if they’re going to tip over, entirely governed by their overbearing rear ends. I saw one pop his head out of his hole the other day, and I couldn’t help but envy his ability to burrow deep into the ground and never, ever, ever, ever, ever have to read another chapter of any econ textbook ever again in his whole life. He doesn’t have to know which curves shift which way when a drop of rain falls two centimeters too far to the left, drastically reducing harvest yields for the year in the sample problem. He doesn’t have to suffer through oversimplified study guide questions with overly complicated answers. He doesn’t have to type endlessly for hours, then re-read what he typed and type it all over again to reorganize its illogical flow. The womp womps just get to live their lives in peace. All they have to worry about is getting eaten, or starving to death or snakes. They get to emerge into daylightthey never have to descend into the library for days on end, not to see the light of day, except when they hibernate. Don’t we all wish life were that simple?

This article isn’t about the complexities of life. This article is here to make jokes about womp womps, even though several different Vassar Missed posts have covered the topic almost exhaustively. There must be other womp womp jokes out there that haven’t been made already, right? A unique twist or point of view on a staple of the Vassar College experience that students poke fun at frequently because it’s an easy target and not divisive must still exist. I’m sure I can find it. I’ll set up an appointment with a research librarian to help me organize and stay focused as I comb through the numerous resources provided by Vassar’s extensive library, while also taking advantage of ILLiad and ConnectNY to expand the scope of my materials, to discover and hone a unique argument about what most people call “groundhogs”no. No. I’m not writing this article about finals. This article has nothing to do with finals, the process of writing research papers or the process of studying a semester’s worth of material in the four hours before my exam. This article is about womp womps. It has always been about womp womps, and it will always be about womp womps and nothing else at all. That’s the end of the discussion.

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