Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Students with integrity.

The staff in my department are insanely stressed by the amount of work that has inundated us. We have end of term things to do and papers to grade. I have 6 piles to grade by next Wednesday and then some more that should be returned sometime before their exams next term.

So we're slightly hysterical. And on top of all that work, we have been setting exams and it finally got to us. We decided to set bogus questions and typed them up on formal paper with the school crest and exam date and time on it and left them in areas where there was high student traffic.

The bogus questions that came after a huge CONFIDENTIAL label were as follows.

  1. Discuss the view that contraceptives should be used on every conceivable occasion.
  2. There are only two kids of pedestrians- the quick and the dead. Do you agree?
  3. "I am on a sea food diet. I see food and I eat it" Is this good advice?
  4. "Macho does not prove mucho" (Zsa Zsa Gabor). Comment.
  5. "Two bleeps or not two bleepsl that is the question. " How important is it to have the right ring tone for your mobile phone?
  6. Would you agree that small men compensate for their size by doing things like becoming the Emperor of France?
  7. Is "anything that is too stupid to be spoken", sung (Voltaire)?
  8. Criminals- Can we trust them?
  9. The penis mightier than the sword. How far would you agree with this?
  10. How far would you agree that to get on in life today you need to be a "shining wit"?
  11. The trouble with life in the fast lane is that you get to the other end in an awful hurry. Discuss.
  12. Do you think it is all right to wear erotic underwear, or do you think it is just pandering to patriarchal fantasies to the point where women have internalised male values so profoundly that they even take a narcissistic pleasure in the objectification of their own bodies?
So there. And we spent the whole day on the lookout to see what would happen when students discovered the "questions". There were several scenarios. One would be they come running to us, returning it in haste and swearing on thehir grandmothers' graves that they didn't read it. Two, they would think it was really the exam paper and keep it for themselves. Three, they'd spread it around and inevitably some would take it to their tuition teachers begging them to help prepare the questions. Three, they'd go running to the principal and we'd be in for a whole lot of explaining.

Anyway, some teachers found some and were astounded at the lackidaisical, bo chap attitude we had towards the security of our exam papers and promptly told the lot of us off saying that exam papers had to be circulated in sealed envelopes that were placed faced down on one's table. Some students too, found it and very warily approached us to return it, as we expected, swearing that they hadn't seen anything. One of my more outrageous colleagues then told her sotto voce that it was for her to keep and the terror in her eyes was priceless as we watched from a respectable distance and seemingly innocuous position.

So we've ascertained a few things. The majority of our students are honest and had the fear of some god. The teachers, well most anyway, were teachers with little sense of humour and played so closely to the rules that they couldn't tell a joke even if it literally slapped them in the face.

But all in all, a fun experiment that made our day just that little bit better.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:35

11 thoughts...

11 thoughts...

At 10:29 pm Blogger Tym said...

The list of questions really made my day. Now why didn't I think of that?

Pity other people got no sense of humour...

At 11:43 pm Blogger J. said...

y'know -- i really wish that about ninety percent of the questions on your 'fake' list had come out on some of MY exams! instead of the boring standard questions about the meaning of life, etc etc. talk about separating the wheat from the chaff. -wink- no way to memorise your way to an A when the questions are coming from left field!

At 3:21 am Blogger myoclonicjerk said...

What fun questions! Teachers should do this more often :)

If I haven't guessed wrongly, I'm a former student of this college. Was in debate too, but that was before your time..

At 8:55 am Blogger Yuhui said...

The penis mightier than the sword. How far would you agree with this?

That's a typo, right?

At 11:08 am Blogger Unknown said...

At 1:30 pm Blogger louist said...

my gosh this is hilarious!

i must do this next time during april's fool or something.

you all didn't get into trouble right? =P

At 1:35 pm Blogger Ondine said...

As long as people keep a sense of humour about it.

At 2:45 pm Blogger  said...

this is great! i especially like Q9!

At 3:40 am Blogger petals said...


I'm a teacher too and I am just done with marking a set of scripts with most disappointing results.. hence I am giving myself a break now before I continue with marking the Shakespeare paper.

Anyway, I can fully empathise with the amount of stress you guys must be under to come up with some funnies like that. I wish I have cool conspirators like you and a less uptight management too since the last time I tried to have some fun with the CME paper, I got frowned on by some colleagues though the kids almost fell off their seats laughing at the facetious questions set. But Hey!! Tis just CME! What is their problem?

WRT to pupils' integrity, I had ever lent a kid my laptop which had the prelim paper saved in it. This kid must have chanced upon it and then unashamedly reproduced my suggested answer claiming it as her own. When discovered, she had the audacity to deny everything in the presence of her parents despite gloating to a classmate after scoring a distinction for it [this was also how she got found out]. And to think silly me was so impressed by her brilliance.

Nonetheless, I am glad that kids with no integrity like her is a minority.

Alrighties.. I got to get back to marking.

Press on, comrade!

At 5:09 am Blogger Eunice said...

hello sprite! eun here :) i sent this to a teacher friend who now wants to send it to her colleagues. would you mind?

At 3:07 pm Blogger sway said...

I like No. 6.

close relative to big car, small dick. Discuss.

The more I think of it, the more I like it!


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