Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday Rant: Invigilation

First, some terminology. "Invigilation" is what I do when I'm sitting at the front of a large room, observing students taking an exam, to catch cheaters and help when students have *reasonable* questions. Some commonly used synonyms include "adjudicate" and "proctor". I'm pretty sure "adjudicate" is being misused in this context; "proctor" sounds very wrong, and is US-derived and therefore inferior, anyway.

Today, I invigilated an exam - BISC 302 Genetic Analysis. 8:30-11:30 am. Urgh. The instructor sent an email to the whole class the day before the exam, to warn students that we don't want to have to escort them to the washrooms, after the ridiculous amount of "can I go?" shyte that happened at the summer semester's BISC 302 final. It helped some, but it's still fucking ridiculous that people have to "go" during a final exam.

This is perhaps the world's most boring activity. It's a close contest with "Calgary Stampede Parking Control Lot F 3-days-prior-to-event-start" (which I did when I was 16), but I think Invigilation *wins* this contest because not only is it horribly boring to sit and watch people write an exam, the meta-effects push it over the top. Think about it: I sit there, bored to tears by inactivity and enforced silence, watching people do something that is itself boring, that they don't want to be doing, that they're doing very, very slowly, that I could probably do myself in about 1/3 the time! Add on some guilt whenever my mind starts to wander (because I'm supposed to be paying attention), and you might be able to picture the liquifaction of my brain that occurred this morning.

It hurts. And nobody even tried to cheat, so there was zero excitement to break up the terrible, terrible monotony.

1 comment:

Carlo said...

Yeah, I'm really glad that at Mac, we don't have to invigilate finals anymore. They pay people $8.5 dollars an hour to do that. I agree that it is, by far, the most horrible job in the world to do. And my supervisor wants to change the format of his course to 3 midterms... ungh.