I had a final this afternoon in a classroom building with halls full of classes for 20-30 students each. During the semester, the class happened at 1pm, so during the semester, there are a fair number of classes happening at this time.
As is my practice, I got to the final a few minutes early and let students start early. Time usually isn't an issue with this exam format, but it helps students feel a little less stressed if they have more time.
And then, about five minutes into the exam time, there started to be increasing noise in the hallways.
So I went out and asked people to be quieter.
A few minutes later, way more noise. Again, I went out.
And a few minutes later, more noise yet. And again, I went out. I suggested that the people in the hallways might go elsewhere to chat, and that's when they told me that they had to be THERE because they were told to wait in this hallway for the graduation rehearsal.
After that, mostly the people right outside the room were pretty quiet, but there was a lot of loud chatter from down the hall.
The last time I went out, I asked people to be quieter, and the person who was being loudest told me that they had to talk because it was for graduation rehearsal; she had some handout thing, and seemed to think she was in charge.
And finally, after a half an hour into the two hour exam, things quieted down.
In the meanwhile, I contacted my chair, the two people listed as contacts for the graduation rehearsal, and my university senator.
I don't blame the students; they're graduating seniors, probably all done with finals, and excited, and of course they want to chat. But holy cow, who over in the Fort thought it would be a good idea to gather all these people in a classroom hallway during the last afternoon of finals? (And really, do people need to rehearse to walk in line, sit down, stand up, walk across a stage, walk back, and sit down, and then walk out? Really?)