Tuesday, October 30, 2007

An easy start to my exam duties. A 90 minute Japanese paper, 7 candidates only.

Though common wisdom says to treat these kids with caution (apparently, the kids of this particular college snap and turn nasty easily), my first impression of them has been quite different. True, they are well-groomed and look studious and intelligent like they should be, but they were respectful of Celine and me, and they did as they were instructed without rolling their eyeballs at us. I couldn't fault them for being obliviously ostentatious either despite what we've been told of them -- nothing they owned looked especially fabulous. Even their shoes were nothing out of the ordinary and looked like they'd been worn for quite a while already. I've seen kids wearing more expensive footwear on my own campus.

They are different from the kids we're used to in one way, though: they will ask questions to clear their doubts, and they assume nothing. In that alone, they make it clear that they are not sheep to be herded, bleating from one pen to the next. They are quietly and resolutely focused on the job they have to do and don't distract themselves with idle chitchat until they are formally dismissed.

Today I saw only 7 of them. Tomorrow, I'll probably see a lot more of them. Let's see if my initial impression of them still holds.

Tomorrow is also going to be historic. It'll be the first time ever we'll be offering the KI paper after years, yes, years, of preparation. NBS and I hope our 6 can deliver the goods (no pressure, KIds!), but tomorrow our blinkers will finally come off, and then we'll know for sure what a 'live' exam paper really looks like. Regardless, at this point, it's isn't how much you know any more, but rather how well you use what you do know to answer the question.

And on that note, GP and KI candidates taking tomorrow's paper, you've studied hard enough. The time to rest your eyes and brains is now. Go sleep... and all the best for your papers! May you have enjoyable questions to work on!

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