UCSD Instructor Advocates to Change the Name of Finals to “Beginnings”

Written by: The MQ

In her lecture pictured above, Doriente explained to her students that every ending is a beginning, and every wine glass can be refilled.
Photo by: Dan Kaliblotzky

UCSD art history professor Kathleen Doriente recently set up a GoFundMe in an effort to officially change finals week to “beginnings week.”

In a recent interview during her Tuesday “Netflix and chill” office hours, Doriente asserted that naming the final tests “finals” pushed an idea of ending, when in reality, the quarter tests prepare students for the beginning of a new life. “If you name the test a ‘final,’ students are going to think this is the end of the entire subject, and that they can just forget everything afterward,” expanded Doriente. “That is not how life works. You must carry your past with you to a new beginning. As a Taoist monk once told me, ‘Get over your husband Wilbur, Kathy, and please find a new temple to vent to.’ Yes, it is a finale, but it is also a beginning.”

Doriente’s proposal was met with support and condolences about Wilbur in the humanities department, prompting Doriente to put her idea into action. By the end of October, Doriente had set up an official GoFundMe and made her unpaid TAs hand out fliers around campus. When asked why she needed money to change the name of a test, Doriente answered, “My beginning needs a better funded start. It’s not true that the woman gets everything in divorce. No, really, it’s not.”

Students of Doriente like her proposal and believe that changing the name of finals will lead to a better mentality around campus. “It’s like, protesting the strict measures of our modern grading system,” said unenrolled student Gale Bennington. “Like, our lives won’t end or be determined by the C+ that could have been a B- my anthropology professor wouldn’t move up. That ain’t my final grade – It’s the beginning of new and better grades to come.”

Despite the amount of support, the beginnings proposal has also received backlash from many students and faculty of UCSD. “It doesn’t make any sense,” argued Physics Professor Yu Mishakuji. “It’s called the ‘final’ because it is the final test for the class. I’m sorry it didn’t work out with Wilbur, Kathy, but you can’t take this out on the whole school.”

Doriente responded to Mishakuji’s claim with, “It didn’t ‘not work out’ with Wilbur, it’s a beginning in a new step of both our lives.” She then explained how tests in life come before the lesson, and that people may learn from those tests and carry their results with them into future tests, and not leave their current test for a younger, prettier test.

The result of future beginnings tests is still being determined, as Doriente plans to take the proposal to Chancellor Khosla by the end, or rather, beginning of winter quarter. If you would like to support Doriente’s beginnings campaign, donate to her GoFundMe or visit her at her Friday “Light a joint and make a point” office hours.

Written by: Lauren Kirkbride, MQ alum and former design editor

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