Thursday, March 12, 2009

Contradictory Mandates

I am now one day away from finishing Maine Educational Assessment testing.  I have dutifully attempted to get the 7th graders to complete the tests they were supposed to finish last week and the forms have been delivered unto the appropriate Guidance Counselor.

I have packaged up and hand-delivered the one 6th grade test that no one else has to give but I do because my program houses that grade in spite of the fact that there is no 6th grade in the building. (Don't think about that one too hard.  It will make your head hurt.  Trust me.)  I had to drive that test over to the 5/6 school so that it could be tabulated with the right age group.

I have pleaded with and bribed the 8th graders for four straight days now in order that they might consent to do something other than color in random bubbles on the test form.  They have informed me that the test is stupid and that they don't care.  

In fact, all the kids have told me this.  While I may agree with them on several points, it doesn't change the fact that the scores are rather important to the school's standing.  Nor, for that matter, does it make me any less likely to withhold their school-issued animal crackers and juice until they stop whining about it.  

While the 8th graders have been testing this week, the 6th and 7th grade are on their regular schedules. (Except that there really is no 6th grade, but we are not thinking about that, remember?)  For some reason, I have been assigned my own classroom as a testing site so both things are going on at the same time.  As a result, I begin the first two hours of the morning sounding like this:

Dudes...seriously!  You have to be quiet!  There can be no sound!  There is testing!!!  Testing, I tell you!  You must be absolutely silent!  You...over there!  I can hear you breathing!  You have a nose-whistle!!!!!  Take this pass and go to the nurse immediately before your nasal tunes wreak havoc on our test averages!  My God, you are a thoughtless bunch!!!

(The fact that I am borderline screeching at this point is not important.  Just leave it alone.  The kids did...)

Two minutes later, I get to sound like this:

Omigodinheaven, why are you just sitting there?  I gave you work!  Important worksheets designed to keep you quiet while I attempt to get The World's Most Sleep Deprived 8th Grader awake long enough to fill in a bubble or two!  I even stapled them for you!  Why are you not working???  What do you mean you don't understand it?  You don't just sit there when you don't understand something, for crying out loud!  You speak up!!!  You speak up loud 'n proud!!!  There is no such thing as a stupid question!!!  Just ask me for help!!!  What is so difficult about that???  Cat got your tongue????  Sheesh!!!!!

(Even the kids couldn't resist pointing out the irony on that one.  Fortunately there were extra snacks delivered for the 8th graders who were testing so I could bribe them to not report me immediately to the administration.  I would have, had I been in their shoes.  I still might report me...)

One more day and then it will be over.  All the 8th graders are on schedule and will finish tomorrow or I will come to their houses and personally test them until they cry.  Or I cry.  One or the other.  Either way, this ends and it ends tomorrow.

Then I'm coming home to finish the heel flap on that sock.  I might even get around to turning that heel and even causing it to attach itself to the foot.  That is how committed I am to not being a person who is proctoring state mandated testing.  I didn't knit today because it was a weight lifting day on the workout schedule and I can't knit while I do that.  My hands are full, unlike cardio days when I ride the little exercise bike.  But, on the weekend, I do neither so it's a moot point.  

Knitting, not testing.  I may even find some semblance of my old, happy self after a couple of days spent not testing, worrying about test scores from the previous week or planning testing for the upcoming week.  

Meanwhile, let's end this on a happy note.  Kitty pix always seem to cheer us up, right?  Here's a couple which show my babies and their ability to share nicely.  Everyone likes the nappin' basket.  But not everyone will fit in the nappin' basket at the same time.  Or wants to...

So they take turns:



Big, Fluffy Kitty in the nappin' basket


Absurdly Gi-normous Kitty in the same nappin' basket


Although, I have to admit that the photos of each kitty in the same spot have given me a new frame of reference.  I'm realizing that the BFK might not actually be as big as I thought.  She just seemed that way.  It might have been the fluff that fooled me...

Or it could be that it was all an optical illusion and that I didn't know what big really means.  That's the sort of thing that should be on state mandated testing, if you want my opinion...

SA

14 comments:

Leslie said...

Wow! He really is absurdly gi-normous!! They are both lovely kitties even with the difference in girth. A visitor asked if one of my cats was a bear...she is rather portly. ;o)

Beth said...

Wow, that is a striking difference between the kitties!

scienceprincess said...

Happy Last Day of Testing! I am trying to get my juniors in HS to not fill in bubbles randomly when we do our high stakes testing in a few weeks. They traditionally think it's dumb and don't actually try to get the answers right. We are on the NCLB watch list so we really need them to try on the tests . . .

I understand the testing madness. Congratulations on surviving it, and with 3 grades.

Happy knitting.
Sarah

Knitting Linguist said...

I had to laugh -- I sound exactly like that while my kids are doing homework. I guess I'd better put more into that therapy account than I have been, eh?

Enjoy your sock, you most definitely deserve it! (Also, I ordered those books at the library -- thanks!)

kmkat said...

Have you ever weighed your kittehs? We would all be interested to know how many tons at which AGK tips the ol' scales. Not that he is fat, we understand that completely, he is just... big-boned.

Lynne said...

Ah, testing, assessing, evaluating! Isn't it a joy? I realised today that we are about a quarter of the way through the semester so it might be a good idea to do some!

Jeanne said...

Basket included for comparison...

Karen said...

I'm glad the testing is nearly done.

AGK is huge. Now I see why he can move furniture.

Donna Lee said...

When our local high school had to take their testing, they gave them a survey on drugs and sex at the same time. If you take the results of the survey seriously, there are orgies in the hallways and classes where open pot smoking takes place. My kids told me that no one cared and answered the questions in the most outlandish way they could-just because they could. They'll pay for this when all of their assemblies in the future consist of abstinence lectures and "just say no" presentations!

Kath said...

Ah hah! A time-share agreement on the napping basket! Excellent arrangement.

You know - I realize when I run my hands down my fluffy kitty's body just how much of her is just fur and how skinny she'd look if she were a shorthair cat. She's kind of "all fluff and no stuff" as a friend put it.

trek said...

Number Guy and I have discussed the state mandated testing and the attempts of one Sheepie to ensure silence during said tests. We have come to the conclusion that this Sheepie may very well have completed her pilgrimage 'round the bend and, therefore, is entitled to a three day weekend of recuperation.

We, however, do not have the authority to authorize such a weekend.

Perhaps Mommy Sheep could write you a note.

Cursing Mama said...

That is one big kitty. Are you ever going to reveal their fighting weights?

knitseashore said...

Have a wonderful, restful weekend and celebrate now that you are done with the testing!

crzjane said...

That is one Big Kitty Cat!
Bet you're glad it's Saturday. Sounds like you've had a rough week.
Enjoy your knitting, and your weekend.