I teach at what calls itself a university but is really an extension of the secondary school. I spent the last three days invigilating cheating students writing tests and subsequently marking their attempts. I wasted more time preparing and marking the tests than any of the students spent on studying for them. My teaching was a fruitless effort education-wise but a never-ending source of entertainment.
The students apparently expected to get the test questions in advance and generally assumed that I would lead them through the course while holding each individual’s hand, singing “Soft Kitty” in a soothing voice and looking after them like a kindergarten teacher would. Maybe said university is not even an extension of the high school but of the kindergarten.
Or maybe the students don’t think they’re still at the high school but are simply high. That would explain their unorthodox approach to test writing and to the English language, which they claim to major in. Here’s a selection of random picks from students’ answers on the test.
- “Mary is not high enough to reach the shelf.” — The expected answer was of course “not tall enough” and the grammar being tested by this was the use of “enough”. I awarded half a point for this answer but would have awarded a whole point, had the student thought a bit about the semantics and had she written “Mary is too high to reach the shelf”. That sounds legit to me.
- “The computer is not using now.” — The idea was to form the passive “The computer is not being used”. The author of this should follow the computer’s lead and come off drugs. I didn’t award any points because it wasn’t even passive. It was passive-aggressive.
- “Her soufflé is on the top of the world.” — The student should have used an idiom with “world” in it, but I was secretly hoping that he would go for the somewhat more logical “Her soufflé is out of this world”. Clearly, the soufflé was high, as everyone else involved with the test (but me, who prepared and marked the tests while sober, which must have been a mistake).