Thursday, May 12, 2011

Exam Shinanigans

     Today I gave my exam for Theatre Appreciation.  I do not mind teaching this class, but I hate the large class in a big lecture hall - 66 students this semester in this class. It  makes it very difficult to get everyone's name down - especially since I am not very good with names - a lifelong problem.  I will probably remember your shoe size forever, but meet you after a few months and say, "Hi...there..." while frantically looking for some identifying tag or paper!
      Anyway, I had a student pass out the computer answer cards as I followed with the tests.  I saw someone whose face I did not recognize, but put it down to class size - he was sitting in the last row. At five minutes into the test period, I noticed one boy was writing nothing and basically hiding his face in the crook of his arm.  As I strolled through the class, I noticed that the boy I had not recognized had written "Bob Winker" on his answer sheet.  Since there is no Bob Winker in class, I knew something was afoot, but not what.  About 15 minutes into the testing, the  boy hiding his face and one across the aisle were communicating with each other - head shakes and such.  I stood behind them - about two rows back.  When they said an actual word, I asked them to stop chatting, and "Face Hider" got up and stomped out.  After 5 more minute, "Bob Winker" stood up, screamed that he didn't know any of this s--t, and he was F---ing done with exams. He crumpled his paper and threw it on the floor as he charged out, and the third boy (who had been doing a pretty good job of pretending to take the test) left also. 
       I just said, "Well, that was theatrical, " quite dryly and picked up the tests and answer sheets.  They left all three tests and answer sheets, so it was not that they were trying to steal the exam. Even if they had, it would do no one any good, because every semester, I have the students supply a majority of the questions. This forces them to look over their notes at least once before the test, because to write a good question, you need to know the material.  This also means that every term it is a different final.
     I think this may have been a frat prank, although the point of it is lost to me.  It did not bother me as much as it broke the student's concentration.  sigh... The joys of exam week.

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