Trying to sort out all sorts of administration at once, I came across this document that I produced in around AD 2000 when I was examinations officer in History & Welsh History at this University (I’m now chair of the examination board). Most of these are genuine, and many have my heartfelt sympathy, but a few …
Twenty-two reasons why my examination papers aren’t ready yet:
- I’m too busy filling in applications for research money.
- I’ve been too busy writing my next book but one.
- The papers are being translated into Welsh.
- I’m moving house.
- I forgot.
- It’s half term and I have to look after my school-age children [note: this was from a male colleague].
- My hamster died.
- The papers have been translated into Welsh but the external examiner wants them amending to the dialect of Llanfihangel y Creuddyn.
- I can’t be bothered.
- Oh no is it that time of year already?
- I’ve just moved house and I’ve been waiting for my bed to be delivered.
- I’m in Birmingham.
- I can’t remember how many questions I need to set.
- What did I set last year?
- I’ve just been converted to NT and I can’t get the printer to work.
- I’m at home.
- The external examiner wants all the double quotes changing to single quotes.
- I’ve just moved house and I’ve been waiting for my desk to be delivered.
- The external examiner wants me to rewrite my course.
- One of the contributors to the paper is off sick for a fortnight.
- I’ve broken my wrist ice skating.
- My wife’s just had a baby [before the days of paternity leave, folks!]
And, Helen, while you’re on the subject, can you find out for me:
- How can I get the exam papers printed in glorious technicolour?
- Why does the university rubric say that the maximum mark for the paper is 100%?
- Can the students take the text book into the examination?
- When do the exam office want details of courses assessed by course work only?
- Who is the external examiner? … Who’s s/he?
- Can we have an extension on the submission of examination papers?
- Can we go somewhere else for the external examiners’ dinner this year?
And, next year, can you remember:
- Three students want to take their examinations in Patagonian Greek.
- The external examiners want to see the last three years’ past papers.
- I need six months’ notice of the final submission date for the examination papers.
- I want you to write my exam papers for me …