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Vivarin ad reinforced sense of panic over final exams

While understanding the need for expanding revenue through the sale of advertising, I also think that a student newspaper's business staff should weigh the impact of a potentially stressful ad. I am referring to the Vivarin ad in the May 18 issue of The Tech, which was headlined with the crisp admonition that "It took Galileo 16 years to master the universe. You have one night."

With final exams just days away at the time, it behooved us all, whether we were giving, taking or administering them, to treat the challenge with a quite sanity and not a threatening frenzy. The Vivarin ad reinforced, at the very least, a sense of panic, and more often, I would guess, a sense of doom and futility. It also suggested that chemicals and cramming were the way to go.

Yes, at MIT there are enormous pressures and workloads, but there are also support structures set up to tutor over time, advise periodically, review expectations or, in other words, humanize and smooth the experience. I think it was a mistake to highlight an image of high pressure isolation, especially at term's end.

Kim Wainwright->

Undergraduate Physics Office->