Sunday, May 06, 2007

What no more? Or the problem with examinations and tests is that they became the means and the ends of education, not learning.

A few weeks from now will be enrollment day, and I remembered something that I think is interesting because it is unforgettable. I was thinking of money for my and my daughter’s down payment for our tuition when this classroom occurrence popped in my head. I don’t know, but I think my mind have developed this defense mechanism against money migraine by distracting my attention from the actual and immediate problem of money by intercepting my thinking…it’s like watching a TV program: I see this ant march come raining down the TV screen and then a new image appears superimposing the program I’m watching before, then the superimposed image overwhelms the former and then before I know it, I’m watching another program. My mind sometimes worked like that when it comes to problems, it tries to divert my attention. Sometimes it work, but most of the time it doesn’t, doesn’t matter anyway.
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Anyway, the classroom incident went like this. Right after our midterm examination, the instructor did a post examination review. He read the questions and then randomly asked us to answer orally. The instructor was shocked, dumfounded, and aghast to find that the class was not answering not because the class was a class for the deaf and the mute but because the class didn’t know what the instructor was talking about. So the instructor blurted out in exasperation “What? After the exams, no more?” I can’t forget the expression on the guy’s face; he was half irritated and half constipated and wholly pissed off. I was expecting him to bash his head on the whiteboard or to jump off the third floor of the campus building, but he did no such thing; he just looked at the class with disbelief. The only thing missing was Rod Serling standing at the corner saying, “You are entering another dimension…of sights and sounds…You’ve just crossed over into a land where fantasy becomes reality and nothing is quite as it seems…welcome to--the Twilight Zone.” The scene was surreal.
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Anyhows, the instructor just looked at the class with utter disbelief. He was quiet, but I know in his head he was calling on all the power of darkness to descend upon his students to provide them sentience, malignant as they maybe. “How on earth can these living organisms in my class pass their exam without them being conscious of it?” The instructor must be wondering and wandering.
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Most of classmates are hardworking and honest. It is inspiring at the same time troubling to see my classmates walking, talking, and mumbling, zombie like, like they were casting some spells or like they were possessed by an unknown spirit, or like they were half mad half insane memorizing their lectures verbatim ad literatim. Imagine doing this for a nine subject examinations. They can’t process information; they just stuff their heads with the lecturers. They were not reviewing, my classmates were not reviewing,--they were memorizing. They were memorizing letters, characters--words. They were relearning their pre-school skills—copying and writing. After bursting their heads of all those terms and memorized principles and what have you, they all felt like a constipated horse relieved of all those undigested artificial hay. No need to remember those horrendous terms and memorized principles so, they just let go of them stuffed terms and memorized principles inside their heads like a dam breaking loose. “Off you go all useless information’s. I’ve already regurgitated you in the exam booklets! Off you go! Off you go never to comeback. The feeling of freedom is like a person who was suffering from diarrhea for three days but denied access to a toilet and suddenly was allowed to siot on the throne. Off you go…..prrrrrrttttttttttt…blam, blam, blam empty and relieved, empty and relieved, at last! And now the instructor was forcing them to relive the horrendous experience! No way, Jose (not dela Paz, of course)!
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My caramba! Dare we grade students based on this kind of examinations? My gulay and vegetable, in the name of all the okra in the world living and dead…It’s a cycle of nonsense.
Vomit is what these examinations are, vomit. A regurgitation of undigested blah, blah, blah, blah…this is not learning…no wonder why the Philippines haven’t produce any polymath since Dr. Jose Rizal…this is insane…abominable snowman…a ….yeti…a circumcision gone wrong…err…
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I’m just bitter because I don’t do well with objective examinations, he,he,he. In fact, I don’t do well in any kind of examinations bwa, ha, ha,ha!
Hate memorizing, hate memorizing, hate memorizing….
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Why can’t they just do head x-ray…
Or blood tests…
Or Urinalysis, fecalysis, dialysis…
Or why not do a lobotomy on all the Doctors of Education Kuno!
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O my gulay, vacation is almost over…

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