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Monday, November 07, 2005 


Despite the fact I've been doing this one job, exam invigilator (stateside, see: proctor) for about a year, I've been asked to be trained again as part of this snazzy new training scheme. "Okay, whatever," I thought, despite not getting paid for it, "so long as it doesn't inconvenience me, I'm down."

I responded to the training request email in the following manner:

Hi Matt--

Hope you had a nice summer! I am free Monday the 7th, in the afternoon. Any time you want to assign to me is fine.


This is what I got back:

Ok. I will book you in for 10am.

Please come to the Exams office for then.


Now, I know the English run a seemingly more casual timetable during the day, what with their slightly more laid back morning arrivals and their tea times and all. But I'm fairly certain this still doesn't push 10am back to "afternoon" classification.

You are lucky you got a response. My experience of invigilators was:

Run out of paper. Put up hand.

Remain patient.

Arm is starting to get tired.

Change to other arm.

Start to panic that you have lost about 5 minutes of your exam.

Revert to original arm.

Begin to wave arm.

Throw in a couple of theatrical sighs.

Furtherest away invigilator spots you. Begins weaving towards you, without any bleeding paper!


After further in-depth line by line analysis of your post.... (ahem)

Good to see you enquiring about this lapse timekeeping Matt's summer in... November...

Hey! It was the first time I'd had contact with him since May exams!! Obviously, I also meant "summer" in the academic sense, which doesn't end until lectures start, which was October, so I think I was clearly in bounds inquiring after his summer which only ended a month ago..... No?

I think we need to break down the word 'afternoon' before we can clearly understand how he was able to misinterpret your request. It is obviously the combination of two smaller words: 'aftern' and 'oon'. We all know that aftern is a moniker for groundhogs and to oon is to cross over dimensions, such as a groundhog coming out of the ground. So, as you can see, you clearly said that any time after groundhogs come out of the ground is fine by you. Since they usually do so around 9am, it seems to me he was being generous in giving you an extra hour.

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