- Hello, everybody out there in the big bright normal sunlit everyday world. I am speaking to you from some underwater hideout, floundering in a whirlpool of answer-scripts. It is that time of the year when I plunge into the ocean of correction.
Deep sea diving and examination paper connection have a lot in common (apart from the fact that I have never done the former despite wishing to and that I’m forced to do the latter twice a year despite desperately not wishing to). Both give you surprisingly new perspectives on familiar things. Both can be surreal experiences. And both can leave you feeling completely bemused and out-of-depth.
Let me share with you some of the pearls-of-bloopers I’ve dug out from the 400-plus ordinary-oyster scripts I am having to snorkel through.
- One student, attempting to write the agenda for a meeting, wrote, “Discussion of minutes of LUST (last?) meeting”. (Now, wouldn’t that be somewhat explicit? But then, with the younger generation, I guess so-called private things are more in the open.)
- Another fellow, writing a reminder letter to a company for collecting overdue payment, stridently warns, “If you do not pay, we will be forced to take ILLEGAL action” (Methinks students are watching too many Ram Gopal Varma mafia-films of late).
- An innovative student forgot the phrase “pair of socks” and placed a Trial Order for 100 “COUPLES OF SOCKS” (As long as we get one each for the right foot and the left foot, it is all acceptable, right?).
- An enterprising student wrote that a candidate should “BE DRESSED IN NEW AND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS” while appearing for an interview. I guess he meant that one should wear new clothes and carry original documents for the interview, but then dressing up in documents would definitely be a NEW and ORIGINAL way of catching the interviewer’s attention.
- Interviews, obviously, are enormously important to my students. One fellow, probably feeling that the day of the interview would be an auspicious and memorable one (with the dahi-ka-tikka on forehead and the doting mother performing a puja before the great event) got all mixed-up and wrote that INTERVIEWS are SUSPICIOUS and REMINDABLE (Why? Because the distant relation of the interviewer got the job instead of the deserving candidate?).
- The most common spelling mistake is PRINCIPLE for PRINCIPAL (as in Head of the Institution). Is that a subtle warning to all Principals to be guided by the proper Principles – especially when there are so many accusations of admission-related nefarious activities?
- But the spelling mistake that really made my day was when a student wrote an entire answer on meetings and kept on writing MATINGS instead. “Mating is a form of group communication” (as in orgies?). “Matings can be formal or informal (as in marital and extra-marital?). One advantage of “matings” is “problem-solving” (how many of us have made up in that particular way after a bout of fierce quarelling with the spouse?). And one disadvantage of “matings” is that “they are time-consuming” (Well, now we know what all the corporate honchos do everytime they call up home and say, “I’ll be late for dinner”!).
As I go back for another running dive into the answer-pool, I’ll leave you with a deep and inscrutable statement to ponder over:
“Sinces the you or Quality pleases to the answer, to the payment will not fully. But your not problem I am paying the amount your amount in a before in my paying.”
If can make out what my cryptic philosopher student is trying to communicate, do let me know. When faced with such challenging stuff, I feel as if I’m deep-sea diving without any breathing apparatus.
(For a more serious rant on this issue, check out my earlier/angrier post here).