Saturday, March 12, 2005

What's 'Dis, graphia?

OK, so I was administering the New SAT Test this morning to fifteen less than enthusiastic high school juniors and seniors. Usually there are tons of kids taking the SAT in March, because it has just dawned on them that after May, they're going to be booted out on the street unless they can find a way to keep going to school. So getting up and being at school on SATURDAY to take the SAT is usually a better option than picking up cans on the side of Highway 80 for the rest of your life. At least for the girls. As for the boys, their Momma just realized their little darling is better off going to school on SATURDAY to take the SAT than having the garage full of stinking beer cans junior claims he has picked up on the side of Highway 80.

This time, however, kids have gotten the word that this is the first NEW SAT test and who wants to be the poor devil who has to break new ground and on SATURDAY, no less? Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of that scheming bunch of old fogies known only as "The College Board?" So attendance is way down.

So, I'm all friendly and jovial as these malcontents saunter into the room. "How does it feel to be a guinea pig?", I ask. "Screw you, old weasel," says their look.

"How long is this going to take?", asks one weary, but hopeful soul in the back.

"Well, they tell me it should be about 25 to 30 minutes longer than the old test because they have added the essay part. And, instead of seven sections, the test now has ten sections. But the amount of time allowed on each section is less, and you will get two five minute breaks instead of one. We used to get through about 12:15, so I imagine it will be about 12:40 or 12:45 before you can leave this time." I announce in an upbeat voice.

"Screw you AND the College Board," says the faces.

"I'm hoping for a raise,since I'll be here longer," I say with a stupid grin on my face, hoping to bring a little levity to the party.

"Screw you, the College Board, and my Momma," says a couple of boys' faces.

I make sure that I give a few kindly, teacherly words of advice before we begin like, "Now would be a good time to go to the bathroom, before we begin." Two or three take me up on this offer as the thought of being stuck in this room until 12:45 with me starts to sink in.

At exactly 8:15, and according to the Official SAT Associate Administrator's Manual, I begin the reading of the official script. We write our names in three or four places. We flip the test book back and forth looking for secret codes, we read the instructions on the back. Everyone except some kid from Marshall, and she doesn't even turn to the back of the book. I ask, ever so quietly so as not to embarrass her, "Have you read the back of the test booklet?" She nods her head , "Yes". Must be a speed reader or a psychic, I guess. We continue with sex questions (you know, Male, Female, once in Henderson), Social Security Numbers, and all kinds of printing and bubbling. Takes a good twenty-five minutes.

OK, we're doing pretty well, and I'm being patient. The we get to the section where you have to copy an acknowledgement "in writing, do NOT print, and sign your full name as on any other official document." This is when I discover the poster child for International Disgraphia In Our Times (IDIOT) is sitting in the second seat of the third row of room 15.

It takes takes ten solid minutes for him to copy twenty-eight printed words in cursive writing.

I'm thinking ,"OK, maybe 12:50, instead of 12:45. I can live with that."

I read the Official SAT script and it says "Are there any questions before we begin?"

IDIOT's hand goes up. "Can I still go to the bathroom?"

Screw the SAT. Next time there's a test, I'm going to get me a stick, drive a nail in the end of it, and pick up cans on the side of Highway 80.

ps: Thanks, Garden Obsession, for the linky stuff!


Blogger Garden Obsession said...

You're welcome. Well done!

7:55 AM  
Blogger RSydnor55 said...

I found a nice site that provides great information on the SAT and interesting strategies.

9:36 PM  

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