Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Hound And Her Decidedly Useless Sidekick

Finals are upon us.

As we have established in many of my earlier posts, I am not a huge fan studying. I am however, a fan of procrastination.

The other day I had my very first final as a university student. To say that it was an "experience" would be putting it mildly.

We were warned that the whole procedure would be a rather professional affair and were instructed to act accordingly.

Mostly we were reminded countless times not to forget our identification cards and to bring a black or blue pen. We were also told that under no circumstances were you to rip, crumple or in any way damage the answer sheet lest your page become unreadable to the computer.

All these things in mind, we were a frenzied and anxious bunch as we waited for the proctors to come tell us where to sit and what to do.

The proctors hurried in a few minutes before the exam was scheduled to start and started to sort things out. One of them (we'll call her The Hound) began to bark out orders telling us which rows and seats to sit in and to come sign up after finding a suitable seat. The other one (The Hound's seemingly carefree sidekick) seemed nonplussed by the frantic students around her as they fought over seats and trampled each other in order to reach the front of the room to sign up for the exam.

It took some time but we all managed to make it to the front of the room to receive an answer sheet in return for our signatures. After we had all returned to our seats, The Hound called for silence and announced that the rules for this test were the same as the rules for every other test.

Panicked faces stared back at her. "But its our first test!" one student cried "How do I make X's in the boxes?!" shouted another "What if I have to pee?" exclaimed a third. The Hound was unamused  by the sudden outbursts. She attempted to explain that we should mark the boxes off the way that the way that it was very clearly shown on the answer sheet.

As a group of highly educated individuals, we naturally had a very hard time grasping this concept. The Hound let out a low growl and then declared that since we were having so much trouble, the practitioners would quietly come explain it to us one by one while the others got started on the exam which was now about half an hour behind schedule.

We nodded in agreement as The Hound and her sidekick went to the back row and began the tedious process of showing us how to properly mark off our papers. After a couple of minutes of awkward silence The Hound looked up and noticed that none of us had received the actual exam and thus were unable to begin.

The Hound looked around the room for her sidekick "Where are the exams?" she growled at her ever so cheerful counterpart, "I don't know." she shrugged back. The Hound glowered at her for a moment before stomping down the stairs to the front of the room to retrieve the tests from the desk.

She tore open the package and began slamming the exams down in front of the slightly terrified students. Finally grasping the situation, her sidekick arrived to help give out the exams. Once we had all received our exams we were once again told to begin and they went back to showing people how to make X's in boxes.

It was quiet for a while aside of The Hounds stomping up and down the stairs as she had to get new answer sheets for the people that somehow managed to mess up their papers. I began my exam and was surprised to discover that I actually recognized a lot of the words on the test. Having had enough of the insanity, I quickly circled my answers and marked them down using the instructions on the answer sheet.

Halfway through marking down my answers I heard the laboured breathing of The Hound as a drop of sweat rolled off her forehead and onto the desk, narrowly avoiding my page. I looked up into her face unsure of what to expect and was met with an extremely strained smile. I showed her my paper and asked if it was filled in alright.

She glanced at my paper and hurriedly reached for her glasses (which were actually already on her face) and accidentally sent them flying across the floor. She scurried after them, picked them up, shoved them back on her face and resumed squinting and sweating over my paper. There were a few moments of panic as I hoped the sweat wouldn't land on my paper before she let out a sigh of relief and congratulated me on not messing up before moving to the next person.

Feeling rather pleased with myself I confidently guessed the answers that I didn't know and handed my test in.

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