Sunday, May 2, 2010

Exam Etiquette, a tragicomedy

untitled, batak

sure it's stressful. it's stressful for all of us. especially the girl who walks in wearing a blanket. throughout you see one pale hand, thin and attached to an elbow by a naked arm that hovers like a streak of halo atop the dark navy blanket-backdrop.

___three rows to her right and four desks in front of her, sits an exchange student. presumably from India; that is, if it is pee_see to presume. it's not. you can't say that someone 'looks' like they're from India. the dark skin, the accent, don' mean a thang. he sits (non-presumably from anywhere) with 14 writing utensils before him. a fluorescent yellow highlighter, one in green, one in pink. a red pen, 4 blue pens (2 bics and 2 gel fancy-pancy expensive $6 a pen thingees), 4 black (as before) and two pencils (one mechanical pacer; one 'pencil'-pencil). when he first sat down the boy besides him had said: yo, Picasso, are you here to write an exam or capture the essence in the room for all posterity in an enduring work of art? the (non-presumably) Indian shook his head in disgust.

___my GF laughs when the girl sitting in seat K-12 walks in; carrying three separate energy drinks and two digital clocks. one's just to count down and the other one i reset before i start each question she explains. my GF nods, then says in passing this exam's 2 hours long. there are 2 questions. so, you're right, keeping track must be difficult digital alarm girl doesn't notice because she's busy setting up her well-caffeinated command center.

___Rudolph shakes his leg neurotically for the first 34 minutes of the exam, until a moderator informs him the sound of the rattling is well past unbearable now. he shakes his head, apologizes genuinely. he continues to nod at a moderate speed for the remaining 86 minutes; the moderators leave him be because at least this compulsion is silent.

___the students sitting in seats L-24 and M-08 walk in with six A4 pages of notes. attached to these six single-sided pages are exactly 120 tabs, protruding from every edge of the six pages in a multitude of colours. so much time and fastidious care has gone into the preparation of these six pages of notes and their diligent annotations and tabulations, that the students sitting in seats L-24 and M-08 couldn't remember the title of the class they were commencing an examination for. Corporations law the students to their (respective) rights inform them. oh. i thought it had a more... specialized name. the students to their (respective) rights say nope, just corps law. you might wanna add a tab to remind you; though the wit is lost on the hapless duo who will spend the majority of the 120 minutes flipping through the six pages in an endless cycle of searching, still unable to find the case names, section numbers or summary of principles because despite the exquisite presentation of their six tabulated, annotated pages, they continue to know absolutely nothing about the material contained on those pages.

___Rachel Black is popular with the student body. she'll spend exactly 15 minutes of her exam staring at what people are wearing. Marcus D. will expend the duration of his perusal period arguing against his being forced to remove a baseball cap from off his head. he will lose the argument, but will reconvene the matter 2 hours and 8 minutes later, after having handed in his paper, gone to the restroom to pee, wash hands and face, and replaced his cap on his head. after a further 17 minutes of arguing with the head moderator and two of his deputies, Marcus declares the trio to be autocratic despots on a pathetic power trip, adding to the two gentlemen of the trio, that viagra may assist with their sexual dysfunction, but not with their predilection for catamites (a matter that will later be reported to the school board, but will not be enthusiastically pursued on account of the school board chair agreeing with Marcus - at least to the extent of 'autocratic despots on a pathetic power trip').

___Michael's S and B, Michelle Rudney, Mich Dartcourt, Micky B. and Mikella R. will all leave their exams early because they know to a certainty they'll fail. At least in the case of Mikella, her father will huff and puff, but when she cries and feigns depression will forgive her and allow her to spend her vacation sunbathing on a beach 4 hours from home to 'settle her djinns'. Mich Dartcourt just met a girl he'll marry three years from today so he couldn't give a' capital eff about the exam (as he put it).

___seat F-27 is empty because the would-be occupant was having her breasts massaged by her (on-again) boyfriend. after an unfortunate mishap erased all her semester's notes from off her computer, she methodically cried on 9 separate occasions over a period of 8 days in 7 separate offices to 6 separate faculty members and signed 5 different declarations of good faith to defer all 4 of her exams. at the time of writing she continues to engage in the on-again portion of a destructive-romance-melodrama that will eventually see her becoming a depressed 3-gins-before-breakfast housewife, regular Gucci patron and in-the-closet poster-girl for upmarket battered-wife syndrome (the consequent black eyes of which will be concealed by various pairs of $350 sunglasses).

___Cornelius masturbates before every exam, so he strides in calmly, takes his seat, writes a decent exam in legible handwriting, and maintains a solid credit average.
___Cordelia is still a virgin, and has the sweetness to prove it; she doesn't have a clue in hell what she's missing, so she strides in just as calmly, takes her seat, writes a more than decent exam in exemplary handwriting, and maintains a solid distinction average. a few hours after the exam Cordelia and Cornelius will meet in the uni tavern, share a few drinks, half a dozen coffee & movie sessions over the period of their semester break, and fall madly deeply and sincerely in love. they will live a largely secure and fulfilling life and most of their friends will be two-faced jealousy-infected brats who will hate them to death (but who smile when they come into a room, and will continue to invite them to occasional BBQs). Cornelius and Cordelia will not really care either way, being happy enough handling their own bizniz.

___i walk into every exam wearing more-or-less whatever i've been wearing since my last shower. usually this means a grandfather cardigan i wear around the house which comforts me and a tshirt. had it not been for an off-putting first-semester encounter with a tiny blonde who sat her mid-afternoon chemistry exam in full-pyjamas (with a cow pattern) i'd likely also come wearing pyjama bottoms. as it stands, i have discontinued that, meaning, i usually do change my pants, replacing my pyjama bottoms with whatever pair of jeans is lying on the floor (and has been lying on the floor since i took them off after antecedent exam(s)) and will continue to lie on the floor after this (present) exam until the next exam. i carry in my hands a water bottle and my glasses case. in my classes case are three pens. two black, 0.5mm micro uniballs (at a price of $6 each) and one blue. i will complete my examination using only one pen. in case of the pen's ink being depleted, spontaneous deconstruction, space-time evacuation or leakage, i will then put the damaged (martyred) (mourn not for those who go in the Lord) pen aside, and continue with one of the replacements. in my right front jean pocket is a small plastic pill case. it usually contains 4-6 small white tablets which i use to offset irrational bouts of paranoia; panic/anxiety attack induced feelings of impending doom, certain abject failure or vomit; reasonable fatigue from having slept an average of 3.7 hours over the preceding 3 weeks (leading logically to: vertigo, tremors, cold sweats and a hazy fuzz of static meaningless white confused mayhem blahblahblah in my head, from which formulation of grammatically functional sentences will be impossible. usually, after having sat down in my seat i will approximate the necessary dosage to off-set aforementioned effects (side, front and behind effects) and effect ingestion. as a consequence of ingestion (of approximated necessary dosage of), by the 23rd minute of my administrative law exam i will be unable to feel my peripheries (including lips). similarly, during my wills & estates exam i completely lose track of all my surroundings and write in lieu of an exam answer, a first-person narrative from the perspective of the chief Master of the Court of Chancery (circa 1600 AD), detailing not only the rationale for various legal precedents, statements of policy within their historical context, and so forth, but also the sadness he felt in putting down his horse Gunsynd, his preference for dark to light rum, and various brief amorous trysts. by the time my Evidence exam comes around i am baffled to be in the midst of a completely unprecedented case of incontinence such that i maintain a trickle of urination for the better part of a (continuous) three hours pre-exam. with an uncomfortable wet patch and inexplicable physiological meltdown, i decide to approximate necessary dosage to the max biatch, and complete my examination in a transcendent amphetamine spiritual nirvana from which i awake some 48 hours later on my couch with a bad-ass headache. i am later told that my (entirely medicine-induced) attempts to express my answer to question 1 part b of the exam paper as a barefoot interpretive dance in the examination hall was not unanimously approved of; and in light of this nonacceptance, i am informed there is some possibility a disparaging letter of notice may accompany my final results.

___Supportive, balanced, centered, yoga-going, part-time-working, socially accepted Suzie will still top every class she is in (and go on to be a good-spirited High Court Justice).



mar said...

hahha. i love this one. also, if your exams are really only two hours, then i kind of hate you b/c my 3.5 to 4 hr massacres are much worse.


Alice said...

I hate you for being so amazing at writing. I also love you for being so amazing at writing.

golriz lucina said...

i kinda love this guy:

"yo, Picasso, are you here to write an exam or capture the essence in the room for all posterity in an enduring work of art?"