Friday, June 10, 2011

Why I Don't Volunteer

Today I volunteered at the high school to be a testing proctor. I'll admit I had selfish reasons for volunteering my time to watch high school students take a test. When we (the Swansboro BOA team) were asked I nostalgically thought back to my testing days. Early mornings, a free peppermint to stimulate the brain cells, and a proctor who read mystery novels in the corner. Being a proctor sounds painless and I'm down for some quality reading time. I've been gently persuaded to read the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan by multiple people. This sounded like a great time to get some pages completed for my annual competition.

Epic Failure.
No reading allowed anymore. Cheating is such a big problem that proctors are required to quietly roam the classroom. I'll admit - being selfish backfired.

I was taken into a sophomore English class and watched twenty four students read a story and write an essay. It was a very eye-opening experience.

66% spent more than an hour reading a two page story
21% fell asleep during the exam
83% had BMIs in unhealthy ranges
29% got dirty looks from me for talking during the exam
100% took out headphones and cellphones when completed

Now before you (ahem, Jacobs family) get all upset at my sampling technique, I know it was not an adequate sample. The classroom was one from a lower to lower-middle income class high school in coastal Carolina, but I was still very startled.

These children (and I apply that generally, because they don't speak like children) made me angry and frustrated. And then I just felt sad.

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