Wednesday 16 May 2012: Foetal
It was a fairly prompt walk with the dogs this morning as I was due to invigilate this afternoon and needed to be on duty by 12:30. I had noticed these wonderful uncurling fronds the other day and thought they were stunning and so graceful, epitomising the birth of new life as a fern re-emerges into the undergrowth. I love the way the brown fronds seem to be containing the spring of new growth within the spiral. It also reminded me that very soon I would not be able to see Bruce when he disappears into rabbit holes as the bracken and ferns will quickly tower above him!
This afternoon was the English Close Reading and Critical Essay exams and I was in a room with 10 youngsters who were all completing their exam on computers. This number has increased annually and during the quiet three hours I began to wonder how long before it will become the norm for essays, particularly History and English, to be completed this way. It all went without hiccup until the final minutes when one lad announced that his PC had frozen and was refusing to print. He also said that it had been freezing frequently during the exam when he tried to save the work and so it was not saved anywhere! I just told him not to touch anything and called for IT help. Eventually help arrived and the teacher managed to send the work to another computer which then agreed to print it and the crisis was averted! But it certainly made me realise that the PC can in fact add to the stress levels encountered at exam time and we are still some way from the reliability of old fashioned pen and ink.