Friday, 3 May 2019

Romanian mosquito

Heard a story about a Romanian mosquito today...

Invigilating an exam hall of 241 students this morning was quite an adventure!  Ultimately had to report and pull up one youngster who had notes on him all along.  Initially I made sure that he was being watched.  But he continued peeking at the notes tucked in his jacket sleeve.  Then under the pretext of the hall already being warm, got him to hand me his jacket.  He did and I was pretty sure with that move I had taken away his means of cheating.  By this time, he knew that I knew!  Within 15 minutes I again noticed him fiddling with his shoe.  Very soon I saw him with (another?) note.  Going against all instructions and regulations I went upto him and gently whispered to him, "Either you stop it or hand it to me!"  From his indication, I gathered he would not resort to it again.  By this time I had already informed the supervisor of the hall that I was suspicious of him. 

No sooner I moved away from him, he was at it again!  This time round I informed the supervisor that he certainly had notes on him and that he knew that I was aware, and that he was carrying on referring to them, in spite of my gentle verbal warning.  I was told to keep a close eye on him.  Towards the end of the two hour exam I was asked to inform him to stay back after the exam.  I left an official note on his desk to stay hack after the exam.  An official from the student administration was there by the end. She asked me what happened and I was given a form to fill up.  The student was then interviewed and she found the notes exactly where I told her he had it: in his left shoe. 

After the whole episode, it took almost an hour for me to get over it.  I was feeling bad for having done it.  Not that I regretted doing it - but just that the lad seemed so desperate to copy.  I know not what action would be taken against him.  None in the exam invigilation team or the student administration were sure.  "It was not our job," they said, "to worry about the end of the process."  They were very impressed by my work in that large hall, especially this particular case - but I told them, it was no merit!  In fact, I said I was sorry for having to do it. None-the-less I did it - and would do it again, if necessary.  My reasoning was simple: Going against regulations, I warned him twice (the latter being direct and verbal).  In spite of that if he was brazen about the act, he should also be ready for the consequences.  He needed help and I did help him - first by trying to prevent him, then by directly telling him and finally by making him accountable. 

And yes, the story he tried to tell me when I led him to the toilet, halfway through the exam... "If you saw me scratching my wrist, that was because I was recently on a trip to Romania and there a mosquito bit me.  That's what was itching me!"  Well, I hope he did not tell the Admin officer that the same Romanian mosquito wrote and put that slip of paper in his sleeve or shoe too!  

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