Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Good, Pass or Fail

I proctored tests for five days last week, and you should not be surprised to discover that I found it very interesting. Check it out:

1. At least half of the students hold their pens horribly wrong. Their writing is correspondingly hard to read;

2. There’s a very high incidence of left-handers in Thailand. I had notice this before; in one of my classes of fifty high school seniors there were more than ten. My guess? A lower incidence of forced right-handedness;

3. The wai is losing its universal application. That’s the praying hands, Sawatdee! Namaste in India. Only about half of the girls wai’d the proctor when they handed in the test and left; far less than half the boys. For the test of Psychology 101, almost nobody wai’d the proctor;

4. Calculus II: of the four hundred test takers, only thirty or forty were boys. That’s of the total, not 30%, thirty boys;

5. Introduction to Statistics, a tough test. Calculators were allowed, but not all of the students had them, wow, that’s a disadvantage. Saw a few very sophisticated scientific calculators too, allowed I guess, no one said anything.

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