Monday, May 24, 2004

Journalist factory
Volda college has been called "the journalist factory", due to the way we process students and send them out to attack the unsuspecting Norwegian public. That's not true, it's not journalists that are our largest output, it's media theory students! Today I am about to walk the "comforting route", and visit students writing exams in media theory. There are more than a hundred students, positioned in 7 different locations. Just finding the rooms they are in is a challenge, I have no chance to actually recognize the students. I just hope they recognize me.

I don't know if this routine is common outside of Norway, but for exams like this - school exams - we always visit the students in the morning, in order to help them understand the questions, give them a hint if they have misunderstood completely and nudge in the right direction if they feel insecure. I have also spent time as an ad-hoc therapist calming exams nerves, I have called for an ambulance for a student who went into diabetic shock from stress, and I have been strict and told lazy students to get back in there and make an effort - suffer through the exam and take a chance at a weak grade rather than leave and be guaranteed to fail. It is one of those things that marks the seasons.

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