See my Test!

Unicorn_2I am staring into my computer, the words on the screen are a mesh mash of verb tenses, verb patterns, negotiation vocabulary and outlining activities. In other words:

Sex. On. Paper.

I zone in on the screen, after a moment the words of my example sentences and instructions meld together; the black and white becomes gray and then forms itself into a rickety linguistic ladder. A few moments later Donkey Kong jogs along them hurling gerunds at a pack of personality idioms. A flock of unicorns runs across a verb tense activity. By the time I snap out of my daydream, they are running across the page, ran across the page, have been running across the page, will have run across the page and had run across the page…damn!

I stand and leave my office, following the time-honored rule that you abandon your test at the first glimpse of unicorns. It is also time for coffee. It was time for coffee a while ago. In fact, it has been time for coffee for a while…Damn!

I love being a teacher and there are lots of perks to this job. I have long holidays and get to work with young people. I get to be creative and watch young minds grow with knowledge and curiosity. I have picked up many skills. I have learned how to control a classroom of twenty-plus university students. I have learned to restrain from letting go of explosive laughter, explosive cursing and explosive diarrhea. I’ve mastered the art of not murdering people, of not strangling them or laughing out loud as I imagine their painful death amid fire ants and black widows. I can now eat two sandwiches, drink a coffee and grade a test in four minutes. Three minutes if there’s no cheese.

Perhaps top on the list of these resume gems is the ability to act as though I know something about anything when in fact I know nothing about everything.

Oh, and I have learned to make tests.

Making tests is the great equalizer of the teaching profession. It negates the long holidays and the mind-control. It even nixes out the diarhheal-powers. Making tests is like doing paperwork in Hell’s waiting room, only there are fewer Nazis afoot and ABBA isn’t playing for eternity. It is a monumentally tedious activity, combining all the fun of creating moderately difficult questions, adding points and trying not to scream when Microsoft Word decides on a new font and format.

Today, I have to make seven of them; each one totally different and unique.

Making tests changes a teacher’s normal personality into one that should be restrained by Hannibal Lecter’s courtroom attire. There is stress and punchiness, shaking and occasionally slipping in a difficult question out of a passive aggressive need to punish. If a student fails then the teacher must make a retake test, which leads to an immediate, irrational and permanent dislike of that student.

It’s my last day of holiday and I’m making tests in my pajamas and wondering why I didn’t go to law school. I have returned from the kitchen, 300 CCs of caffeine traversing through my veins like a fluorescent idiot in Tron. I look back at the screen, worried that my example sentences have begun to reflect my punchiness.

Use the verb given to write a sentence in the present perfect tense. An example has been done for you.

Have: That stupid donkey has had explosive diarrhea all morning. 

I need to take a sandwich break. I have needed a sandwich break. I will have needed…damn!

  1. #1 by fredi on January 3, 2013 - 4:54 pm

    You are hysterical! Happy New Year.

  2. #2 by Andy on January 4, 2013 - 10:17 pm


  3. #3 by Damien Galeone on January 4, 2013 - 10:53 pm

    Oh Andy, we promised never to speak of this again…

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