February 8, 2012

A Tale of Test-Giving

Today I gave a test, which is kind of the first actual like… test test I’ve given. I’ve always been a writing teacher. No tests there! Tests are stupid in a writing class. So I gave one this time, because I am teaching a non-writing class, so that seemed like the thing to do. It was a long test. Maybe it shouldn’t have been? I figured more questions = more room for error, so I went all out. But I’m new at this test-giving thing.

But during this test… well, I have to tell a story of what happened during this test.

So the test is in two parts. Part One is all open computer. It’s about research skills and whatnot, so they can look up whatever they want on the computer in front of them. Part Two is closed-book or whatever. No computer during that part. They have to give me Part One back before I give them Part Two to do, and once they turn in Part One, they’re in deep shit if they use their computers.
I hand out Part One, and everyone gets going. Of the two problem guys I talked about before, only one of them has decided to show up for the test. He’s clearly not working too hard on the test. I see him pull out his cell phone at least once during it. But fuck, it’s part one, he has the whole internet to refer to, so I don’t much care if he does something stupid with his phone. If he’s really having someone text him answers, more power to him. That has to be way the fuck more work than just looking them up in an online dictionary like he’s supposed to for the test.

Anyway, time passes. There’s maybe 10 minutes left of the test. He hasn’t even turned in part one yet. He packs up all his books, comes up to the front, and says “Hey, I gotta leave, I’ll finish that for homework.”
So, of course, I go, “No, you won’t, this is a test.”
He seems confused. “What?”
“This is our first test. We’ve been talking about it for over a week.”
“So I can’t finish it at home?”
“No, it’s a test.”
He pulls the test out of his bag where he had placed it, hands it to me, and walks out. I flip through it. He’s maybe, MAYBE halfway done with Part One after the hour and 15 minutes of this test. I staple a blank Part Two to his test, and put it away.

I was just kind of floored. I mean, if you aren’t going to take the test, don’t show up, right? A better use of your time, right? But I’m just more shocked that he didn’t realize it was a test when I really have been talking about it for awhile, and I had Test-taking procedures written on the board, and the damn thing said “test” on it. The note I left on the board of the normal classroom to point him to the computer lab to begin with said that my class was “in the computer lab for test-taking times.” It’s not like this was a secret.

This whole scenario just involves a level of not paying attention that I cannot even fathom. Why is he here? Why does he keep showing up only to leave in the middle of class, or walk out in the middle and walk back in right when everyone is packing up? He doesn’t participate in activities. He doesn’t do homework. Why is he wasting two hours a day attending my classes? I want to understand, but back when I was a slacker, I wasted my time wisely. I stayed at home and played video games. I didn’t go and sit through classes I didn’t want to be in. I did something fun instead! Why isn’t he off doing something he finds more valuable?

Again, I was a shitty student once, mostly due to depression. I always feel like I understand the students who don’t show up or don’t do homework because I have been there. I think they should do those things, but I get why they don’t, and I don’t take it personal. It’s their tuition money to waste how they like. But this guy… I just don’t know. I can’t understand it. I mean, if he’s not disrupting the class, it’s fine. Him not taking this test for no reason didn’t hurt the other students, so whatever. But goodness. What’s his motivation? I want to know what makes him tick.

The answer to all your questions is he is a very stupid person.

Comment by Belabor — February 8, 2012 @ 12:51 am

I’m not sure about how much it costs to take your class. I guess he is independently wealthy and doesn’t have to worry about future employment though.

Comment by Kale — February 8, 2012 @ 7:40 am

[…] I was telling Cara about the student not knowing he was taking the test and the eventual failure of basically everyone in the class on that test. She has been substitute […]

Pingback by The Blogtastic Blogfest That Is Getmeoutofthis.net! » Blog Archive » We’re All Doomed: What I Have Been Told About High Schools — February 10, 2012 @ 6:40 am

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