With acknowledgement to Clark Gesner for his “Nothing Spoils the Taste of Peanut Butter Like Unrequited Love”
Vicky Chartres: I think exam time is about the worst time of year for me. The whole reason for being here- being in the classroom with students, unceremoniously ends when the exam period commences. Waking up and wondering if any students will actually speak to me today or whether it will just be more standing around watching and distributing and collecting papers. Knowing there will be no daily classroom interaction and an endless rounds of supervision and relieving with ever mounting bundles of exam papers to mark appearing on my desk is almost enough to make me want to give up teaching! The thing I most dislike is the exam marking.
Well, nothing to do but start. I can sort them all into essay topics and start with all sections and essays. (She unties the bundles and sorts through the papers dividing them into topics, turning the pages to the essay question) What topic is this? Why don’t they write the question? Well that’s disappointing almost everyone has chosen the Meditation and Mind training topic… That was the only one we didn’t even discuss in class. Where are the criteria? Let’s just see how they go. OK this is not bad.. Yes intro… 3 arguments and conclusion.. Structure down, good job! Yes ...Yes… Good job and this… Well. OK the grammar’s not too bad. How can you even think that? What no evidence, no examples …No, No, No. Choose one and write. Don’t sit on the fence! Was anyone even listening when we did expository essays?…Meditation is enlightenment! Answer the question! GNH?? It doesn’t answer the question. We should have written a joint construction perhaps… Where does the question say “important” or “international”? Do they even know what “evolving” means? Oh please. Give me a break! Yes 4 out of 5 for the structure and even the spelling is not bad. Good. More like that please. OK 2 more papers and I will have a coffee. Who is this? (She flips the pages to the front page) Oh right, index numbers! No idea who this is? What were you thinking? Were you even thinking? OK! You’ve got it, whoever you are. Maybe 5 more and I will take a 15 minute break and have a cup of coffee. How many more in this section? (She starts counting papers) OK almost half way. Didn’t I read this before? How can they all have the same arguments? Yes well done! Who are you? Right index numbers! When I finished this section, then I will check who is who against their scores. What why can’t you just copy the correct spelling from the question? 3 to go and I will stop. Where is that list with their index numbers on it? Maybe it is at school? What will it matter now the scores are done. Just get a coffee and …. God was that 4 hours. That’s enough for tonight. We need to have some dinner! I wonder which exam they have tomorrow. Arrrrgggg exams are the worst time of the year for me.