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Friday, 27 November 2009

Reasons why I will never, ever, ever agree to be an external examiner again

I need to explain why I haven't been commenting on your blogs or writing any of my own. You may well have been grateful for this ... anyway, here is the reason:

A monologue

Right, so that's three hundred and twenty exam scripts I have to mark by ... er ... ah ... I have two weeks. And, in a miracle of brilliant timing, it all coincides with my being back at work after sick leave. So, that was a REALLY GOOD DECISION of mine to apply to do exam marking, then. Thousand quid, or no thousand quid, somehow I wonder whether it's going to be worth it. Still, some chocolate should help. I know. I'll put this box of chocolates near my marking pile and every time I've done 20 scripts, I'll reward myself with one.

(Mark, mark, mark.)

Good, that's the first 20. Chocolate! Pop it in! Yum! Now, let's get going again.

(Mark, mark, mark.)

Sigh. This is going slowly. Only 10 done. Oh well, that's a round number. Have a chocolate. Pop it in! Yum! Now, come on, Fran. Don't start slacking.

(Mark, mark, mark.) Damn. Have I really only done three? This is really dragging. Oh well, three is a nice number - surely it means perfection in the Bible or something? - so I'll have another chocolate. Pop it in! Yum!

(Mark, mark, mark.) Another one done. And this is getting so tedious. Maybe I should go and check a few blogs out and ... NO! Come on! You have to get these done in a very short amount of time! I know. Why don't I have a chocolate after every script? That's bound to motivate me. Okay, pop it in! Yum!

(Mark, mark.) Look, there are two essays in each script. Maybe, to keep myself going, I should have a chocolate after each essay. Okay, I've done one essay. Pop it in! Yum!

(Mark.) Heavy sigh. My shoulders do ache. I need rewarding for all this hard work. Perhaps every time I write a comment in the margin, I could have a chocolate. Yes, that's a good idea. Okay, one comment written. Pop it in! Yum!

(Tick.) I am SO BORED and TIRED. Why did I apply to do this? What an idiot I am. And everyone else is out and about, enjoying life. I think I'll have a chocolate every time I put a tick on a script. I've done four in this essay. Okay, pop them in! Yum, yum, yum, yum.

(Ti ...) There's only one way I can keep this marking up, and that is to continually eat chocolate, and then in between each chocolate, I'll read another point in the essay.

(Chomp, chomp, tick, chomp, chomp, tick, chomp, chomp, tick.)

21 comments:

  1. Fran

    You deserve each and every chocolate in the box. Reading this, rounded my day off with a smile. Thanks.

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  2. Thanks, Martin. I give you an A* for your comment. (Chomp.)

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  3. Oh dear, a fellow addict. Have you actually finished the marking? With that 1000 quid you could buy yourself a week or so in a health farm to lose the extra inches you've gained from marking exam paper marking time with chocolates.

    Stop a minute, there's something not quite logical about working to earn the money to spend on the effects of that work. You could not have done the work in the first place. But then you wouldn't have had to mark time with chocolates.

    I know, you could eat chocolates instead of marking exam papers.

    Help me out here!

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  4. Don't worry, Friko. I'm having all the same confused thoughts! No, I haven't finished. I still have nearly 200 to do by this Friday. So that's going to be one hell of a weekend for me, trying to get as many done as possible before the week begins, when I average about 15 scripts (and 379 chocolates) per night ...

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  5. Simply subcontract. There must be people out there that would do it just for the chocolate. Then you get to keep the lolly for more chocolate. Preferably somewhere sunny.

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  6. InvisibleWoman, you talk sense. If only doing what you suggest was legal in this case. I guess I would have to get them to do the marking (for chocolate) and then get them to keep it quiet (for even more). My supplies would be much reduced - bring on the panic.

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  7. I looked up how much 1000 quid is worth. Wowee, you need to keep going!! Then watch for those Early Bird Christmas Sales at 4 am and believe me, you could buy TONS of EXCITING and NEW electronic devices at LOW discount prices!!! Except they will all be sold out. Even if you get there at 3 am. Take my word for it.

    Enjoy the chocolates!

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  8. Lesley, is there an electronic device that stops you from applying to be an external examiner? Now that would be useful.

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  9. Sounds truly dire, and when you have finished you will be huge and sick of chocolate for ever. Nothing is worth this, nothing. Promise me you will never do this again.

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  10. elizabethm, at this very moment, having just marked number 172 of 320, and flagging considerably, I am happy to make that promise.

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  11. Why not just substitute a pile of rancid oily sardines in place of the chocolates. If you cannot mark 5 or even 10 per hour you must eat an oily sardine.

    Then, when you're done, you may have the chocolates. If you haven't thrown up by then...

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  12. Oh you teachers! I hear these stories from friends and my sister, and I wonder what it is about you all that drives you to it. I'm not convinced that it's either the money or the chocolate! Maybe you had too many "Could Do Better/Must Try Harder" comments on your school reports?

    But then I'm writing as the only retiree I know who has always found it possible to say bugger off when asked if I'd like to do a little freelance work!

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  13. Rachel, you must send me some guidance on how to do that. As you can see, I am in sore need of it. As for school reports, I do remember one comment and it said, 'Fran's efforts are dangerously selective'. Seems I've lost the knack.

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  14. Amanda, it's your fault that I have to send these scripts back all greasy and fishy-smelling. And, you're right, somehow those chocolates don't seem quite so appetising any more.

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  15. It sound slike a good way of keeping yourself motivated though. Am glad you posted I had been missing you

    Kate xx

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  16. Thanks, Kate. The motivating power of chocolate is incredible. I see this every day with the kids I teach. As soon as I promise chocolate as a reward for the best essay/speech/formal letter, the competition is on!! But then they are girls ...

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  17. Hi Fran,
    Coming from Lesley's city; and she's right, you are funny! Hope you didn't get a belly ache from all that chocolate :)
    Okay, gotta run and eat some Hershey's kisses. See ya soon!
    Ellie

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  18. now I know why I get nothing done!!!

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  19. Ellie, thank you for your comment and for following. Belly ache? No. Conscience-ache? Big-time.

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  20. Yes, SavvyD. Chocolate is the enemy of all progress ... I'm finding this out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  21. Am I wrong or is this dismal Dostoevskian tale about a package of potato chips? Is that what a crisp packet is or am I missng a more esoteric interpretation of this anglicism?

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