Television Dead Week, or How to Scare the Bejesus Out of Your Neighbors

by | December 26, 2007 at 5:04 PM | General

LAist interestingly calls this week “dead week” what with the WGA strike and with new episodes not beginning until next week; I totally concur, not having found anything new to watch on the tubes during these past two days. So what’s a girl to do during dead week? Colleges have their own traditions of the hellish and suspenseful week before finals, and just a few years back I was screaming out the window with the best of them over at UCLA. Wikipedia dutifully describes this rite of passage:

* At Columbia University, students open their windows at midnight and scream as loudly as possible on the Sunday of finals week each semester, popularly known as the Primal Scream. The tradition helps students release their pent up stress and anxiety about exams.[1]
* At midnight the eve of the Organic Chemistry final (traditionally the first, and arguably most notorious, exam of finals week), Columbia University Marching Band “invades” the main reading room of Butler Library performing ribald scripts in an event known as Orgo Night.
* At Purdue University, dead week is often a week marking a preparation of quiet hours for the entire following week. Though the school is one of the largest in the country, the university stresses quiet during exam week.

* At Stanford University, students have developed a “primal scream” tradition, in which students open their dormitory windows and scream at midnight, every night of dead week. This tradition also exists at other institutions including Davidson College, the United States Naval Academy, Georgia Tech (Midnight Madness), Michigan State University (The Midnight Screamings), and Sonoma State University (The Sonoma Scream)
* At Young Harris College students walk the entire length of the campus front wall. If a student falls off or doesn’t complete the walk then they must start from the beginning. Also, a tradition states that if a student steps on the seal on the plaza then they will fail their exams.

What should we do right before our Organic Chemistry final, otherwise known as the new Gossip Girl episode next week? Should we stick our heads out the window and holler “Death to the WGA strike! I need my soaps back”? or walk the entire length of the Paramount lot front wall, fearful that if we step on the Paramount logo the directors will next go on strike? Invade the library of the Burbank NBC lot and perform an impromptu script reading of last week’s “Deal or No Deal”? Decisions, decisions. Oh well, I guess there’s always PBS.