Saturday, March 14, 2009

DEEP SEA DIVING IN THE OCEAN OF ANSWER-SCRIPTS

  • 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).

23 comments:

ugich konitari said...

ROTFL. I cant figure out what the last fellow was trying to say.

But on a serious note, what else can we expect from education where english is treated like an optional subject , vocabulary is abused in contractions on cellphones, and no one has time to enjoy books. We never seem to have emphasis on spoken English. If that improves, then I feel the writing will.

What else is to be expected when the school textbooks themselves are so full of errors, and lessons are decided based on the political inclinations of powers that be. ...

Indyeah said...

lol this is os much fun!emme come back and comment..in a rush:)
but I promise to be back..wouldnt want to miss this for anything:D

Pradip Biswas said...

Answer-scripts of careless and emotionally disturbed students sometimes genuinely become like this. Counselling on them may rectify these problems.

eve's lungs said...

rotfl - this be too much - I am hysterical at the couples of socks !

eve's lungs said...

oH AND matings . What do you teach ?

Lazyani said...

LOL. Brilliant and I do sympathise with you. Each year I see my Sister-in-law (a senior teacher in a reputed Kolkata School) go berserk at this time of the year.

But to add to your kitty:- Ages ago, during a class test, one of my class mates after seeing the question paper had painstakingly drawn out a rudderless ship and written 'Hull Chariaya Dilam.' (I cannot translate that without losing the essence of the line)

June Saville said...

I reckon if you didn't take a light hearted approach to marking you'd slit your wrists.
June in Oz

June Saville said...

TASHA - also - Pip's story has resumed on Journeys in Creative Writing ... I know you were following her adventures.
June

Mystic Margarita said...

Literally rolling on the floor, lsughing! OMG! the bloopers are priceless and so are your takes on them!

jyotsana said...

hey as a teacher myself i hve gone thru this kinda writing. sometimetimes i feel sad, sometimes i laugh...

Vivek Patwardhan said...

The meeting/ mating story is hilarious.

One student onc wrote a letter to me in his answer paper explaining how much he enjoyed attending my class but how much he hates to write an exam on that subject!

You should compile a book of such answers! It will be a best seller!!

Vivek

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi UK and Pradip,

I agree with you totally on the serious issues.

Hi Indyeah,June, Vivek, Rita,Jyotsna, Eve, Lazyani,

The bloopers keep us going, otherwise checking mediocre scripts of disinterested students is a plodding, tiresome task.

Inder said...

haha.. candidate dressed in new and original documents... that will be quite a sight :)

Sayani said...

sucharita u made my day too :)
i dont know if i had commit such bloopers in my time but then i think at a point it is really sporty to take them lightly :)

take care
sayani

Pinku said...

hey thats awesome fun.....cant stop laughing and for the life of me cant make out what those last lines mean...

btw what is it that you teach??

Mina Jade said...

I loved that joke about mating - I think it does have some spicy meaning indeed!

Double-Dolphin said...

PMSL...brilliant stuff!!! Simply AWESOME!!!

jyotsana said...

hi sucharita theres a game on ah woman...jus check...

nsiyer said...

Amazing and humorous. Laughed my guts out.

Althea said...

Hi there, Just visited your blog and I enjoyed your posts. I wonder if you'd be interested to exchange links with me? I'm mom to a 14-month-old boy and I love blogging about my experiences as a mom. My blog is at http://www.raisingdaniel.com . You can visit it and then let me know what you think.

Althea

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Hi Inder, sayani, Pinku, Mina, Double Dolphin, NSIyer,

The bloopers are like oases of laughter in a desert of hard work. And, BTW, I teach Business Communication to a bunch of disinterested B.Com students.

Hi Althea,

Thanks for visiting. What is linking all about? I'm interested.

Hi Jyotsna,

You've got me intrigued. Will go and check it out now.

magiceye said...

absolutely hilarious!!!!!!
loved it specially the last one about 'mating'!

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Magiceye,

Thanks. that one had me laughing aloud, too.