An open book exam! In a fun and interesting class! Sounds like a party!! Compare this to calculus and well, let's all groove on that humanities thing!
Early this morning, however, calamity struck. She's sure her students were each, surprisingly, coincidentally born under the exact same astrological constellation. How unusual!
Email 1: "I am on my way to the dentist for an emergency root canal. When can I take the test?"
Email 2: "My car stalled on the highway and I'm typing from cell phone. What should I do?"
Well . . . she guesses that depends entirely on the veracity of the report.
Phone call: "My dog ran away, Mary. I need to keep looking for him. Can I take the test tomorrow?"
Email 3: "Funeral. Same time as test."
Email 4: "All of my four children are sick and I have to stay home to take care of them."
Phone call: "I lost my book!"
By the time yours truly got to the actual exam itself, she was beaten. Demoralized. Worn to a pulp and also annoyed with the extra work she just went to, setting up a second time for these absent students to take the exam. Yes, she gave them one final shot.
Just in case there really was a root canal, funeral, stalled car, sick children, lost dog and misplaced book. She's weak that way . . what if. Damn those stars.
So she was in a no-nonsense mood when the exam arrived for the students actually prepared to take it. With a book. To the Matron, this is sort of like saying: here are the answers. But she did it anyway. . .just in case that last test really was too hard.
Those students dug in. Got to work. Focused with barely a pause for a question or two. A peaceful, somewhat foreign, aura of genuine studiousness permeated the room. She began to relax.
Click, click click. Ten minutes are the test time was up, she gave the stragglers a two minute warning.
Click, click, click. The stragglers wrapped up and sort of meandered about, a few waiting to talk to the Matron. Except one, who kept on writing even as her instructor (the supposed authority figure) stood next to her and said: "really, it's time to stop."
Student Q: "I just need, like, another hour."
Matron: "Well, it's a timed exam with a grace period. That's all part of the process." Plus, the Matron had plans for that hour that did not include sitting in this classroom.
Student Q sighed deeply and shut her book: "Okay, but I did horrible."
But, there appeared to be a solution for Student Q. She handed the Matron her test and said: "You should just let me take this again tomorrow, okay?"
Now . . . the Matron isn't sure if it was the build-up -- the well-timed emergencies, the hours spent creating an exam (open book tests are tricky), the grading ahead -- or if it was just the 'you should' part that hit that wee little gas light that had ignited within her that morning.
Actually, she's pretty sure it was mostly shock that colored her reaction.
Matron: "ARE YOU KIDDING? NO. No. NO. This is a TEST which means how you actually perform on it MATTERS."
Student Q: "Well, it was just an idea. How else can I get a better grade on this test?"
Matron: "You can't! It's a test! Like Driver's Ed where if you crash you fail. The 'how can I do better' part is over!"
Student Q: "Well, the whole test situation just doesn't seem right."
Here, she was in complete agreement.