Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday, Bloody Friday

I used to like invigilating... used to...

I should point out I've been invigilating for about 6 years now. It was a great way to earn money - you sat there, read a book or academic paper and two to three hours later you stood up, collected some papers, handed it to the person in charge and claimed £15 or so. Now it's part of my newly expanded repertoire of demonstrator duties and should've been quite straight forward. Alas here in Leicester everything must be 100 times more complicated...

During the 3 hours I managed a grand total of 60 pages in the novel I was reading, inconveniently hitting a funny part just in time for the end of the exam. I suspect I looked a might evil, trying to cackle silently while my students struggled to finish on time. This slow reading was because of many, many "problems", and it was relatively stressful.

Another of the staff let a student wander out to the loo on her own.
One of my 'bathroom escorts'* was apparently quite ill.
Some of my exam paperwork went mysteriously missing, so it turned out that I had more scripts to mark than I had candidates registered!
One of my students was so late for the exam we couldn't let him in under regulations.**

To be honest the only other bad things that could've happened on the lists were someone actually cheating and someone actually dying. I actually think the latter would be easier to deal with because the paperwork for reporting a cheat looked pretty formidable!

Even after the nightmare of collating the papers and taking care of the paperwork was over it took me the best part of the afternoon to get hold of the exam answers I'd written before Christmas. I'd deliberately destroyed any of my own copies- and unfortunately the person holding them in escrow for me was nowhere to be found.

* It's worth pointing out the whole 'bathroom escort' is probably the most awkward part of the invigilating gig. The first time I did it I realised I was stood in the gents not doing anything with a lot of people staring oddly at me. However back then bathroom breaks were pretty rare in exams.

** I did this once, though I at least had the unique distinction of being 24 hours late for the exam in my first year. I was there at the right time of day, simply the day after everyone else. Thankfully Dr. Gregor of Dundee was a very, very understanding man (as were the Exams office), and I ironically the rest of my year disliked me enough not to give me the answers. It did involve a 3 hour wait in the departmental office to ensure I did not go off and get some insider-tips.

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