As dawn breaks on the first day of Final Examination week the Caltech campus is quiet. Too many students have stayed up too late trying to do too much last-minute cramming. So that's when dozens of loudspeakers hooked to powerful amplifiers suddenly start to play Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries at top volume in the student housing area. Windows rattle ... eyes snap open ... pillows cover heads.

"Arise, heroes! Go forth to meet your glorious deaths!" is the operatic high-decibel message.

Or perhaps it's just a just a friendly attempt to break the tension, add humor to a stressful situation, and bring some overworked scholars back to Earth. In any case, it's a school tradition.

TopicPersonalHistory - 2002-05-03

(correlates: QuietingReflex, SillySeminarsOf75, NumberNineDream, ...)