Testing again last week. Understandably, our Libyan students had more on their minds than piddling end-of-course progress tests, and I was generous with the marks for some, who look wrung out with anxiety about relatives they are unable to contact. No sympathy, though, for Faisal from Saudi Arabia, this term’s wotten cheat, chiz chiz. His teacher observed him glance some thirty-eight times at his neighbour’s paper during the listening test. Since she could not get up and stop him without disturbing the other students, she simply ascertained when marking that Faisal had exactly the same answers and errors as Nuri, and awarded him a zero. Faisal had a fit.
‘I am no shit!’ he said, passionately.
‘Yes, you did. I saw you. And you have all the same answers and mistakes as Nuri,’ she said. Q.E.D.
‘Why you no take away my beiper?’ he wanted to know, implying that the teacher had decided to accuse him of shitting after the event, merely because as an addled, fickle, illogical female, driven by emotion, she felt like it. Since strict protocol had not been observed, he could not be blamed.
‘Wouldn’t have made any difference. You’d still have got a zero.’
‘What I will say to course director?’
‘She knows already.’
‘What I will say to my Embassy???’
You should have bloody thought of that, you dozy pillock, is the answer to that one. Chances are they won’t even notice the zero. You do get full marks, though, for the sheer brass neck of implying that your cheating was the teacher’s fault.
The oral test required students to discuss a topic together, with the examiner kibitzing. I always have to force myself to listen during oral exams, as otherwise my mind wanders. On Thursday I was shaken from reverie when I heard Hussam say:
‘Enternet has make the world felch.’
Dear me. Have we got onto the malign consequences of internet porn whilst I was daydreaming?
‘Yes, yes,’ said Hamid. ‘It’s make of the world global felch.’
OK, right, global village. Go back to sleep.