Fernanda Bartels, Staff Writer

The last couple of weeks were midterm evaluation period. It is time for midterm evaluations in the classroom and also on the court. Besides finals period, midterms are the second most stressful part of the semester. All the deadlines for major projects, papers, presentations and exams seem to accumulate in one week.

If you are lucky, your “hell week” may be spread in two weeks. It is exam after exam on top of endless homework. We also encounter the exhaustion of the college routine around midterm time. The lack of sleep reaches its limit, and there never seems to be enough time. Thank God for Thanksgiving Break, otherwise we would not survive finals.

The weather also changes by the middle of the semester to contribute to the chaos and stress around midterm time. With your immune system low because of the nights you spent awake studying, or in my case the poor-quality sleep I get during flights and bus rides, a simple weather change can put you in bed. All of these factors combined help set the context for midterm evaluations.

Just like in the classroom, we have just passed the middle of our volleyball “semester.” We have played nine out of 14 conference matches and we are close to the end of the season. By the middle of the season, the teams have shown who they are and what they are willing to bring to the court.

Some teams break down, others rise to success. Some teams let their guard down, others become more aggressive. For example, our rival James Madison Dukes, ranked ninth in the conference, beat the Delaware Blue Hens, the top ranked team. Does that mean JMU passed their midterm exam? For me, their victory against Delaware was huge, but it is only a “bonus question” they got right on the exam.

So what is our midterm grade? Considering that we are ranked fourth, have played some tough teams and have felt comfortable winning, I would give us a B+. We are a B-rated and not an A-rated team, because we are not ranked first or second, but I would give us a “plus” for being consistent and for how far we came along in terms of progress.

The question is whether we are strong and focused enough to make that B+ become an A by finals time. It will all depend on how we face the rest of the season. If we keep doing our “homework,” by taking care of our game and keeping our level of play, we will definitely raise our grade to an A.