School's final examination time is once again rearing its' head.
Students, especially those who did not study during the year, are now cramming in hopes of achieving passing marks and graduating into the next grade.
Things have changes so much in the school system from when I was a lad. We had not heard of such a thing as a "ditto" let alone a "photocopy" such as the manner in which exams are distributed to students in to-day's world.
After spending 20 years at Rideau High School here in Ottawa, I have to reflect on how much paper is used compared to years ago.
I have seen staff members run off 50 or more copies of an exam and only use up about 25 or 30 of them.
What happened to the rest of the copies? Probably placed in "file 13" or used the following year; who knows.
To-day's students merely carry their ball point pen, a calculator and (if it's an "open book" exam) the book they will require into the examination room.
I know things change, but are they always for the best I ask myself; I do not think so.
We used to chat about the pending exam with fellow students and inquire of them if they had any idea what questions might be on the quiz we were about to have. If we were not sure or could not seem to find the answer to a question that might appear on the test we would ask if they had the answer to it.
The bell would finally ring summonsing us to enter our classroom where we would put our knowledge to the test.
As we sat down at our desks there would be a number of sheets of foolscap thereon; the teacher standing in front of the class asking us if we had our erasers, ruler, straight pens and spare pen nibs with us.
Were our ink wells filled? If not, that was the time to fill them since you were not allowed to leave your seat once we commenced writing the exam.
Having double-checked to make sure we had everything we would need, we were then told how much time we had in which to write the exam.
Our teacher would remind us that if we were seen turning or stretching our head in an attempt to get a glance at a fellow student's paper, ours would be immediately confiscated and a "zero" would be our score.
In concluding instructions we would be advised to check our completed paper thoroughly before handing it in.
At this point our teacher would go to the blackboard and draw a black curtain to the extreme left and then a second curtain to the extreme right thereby exposing our examination that he or she had written out in Chalk!
Maybe I suffer from romanticism, but I feel there was something special about those days.