How Standardized testing contributes to Global Warming and Other Curiosities

INSPIRATION! I found you! It was hiding in the vast tangled forest of the rules and regulations that is standardized testing.

You see, I work in a middle school and state testing days are quite an ordeal. The only comparison I can think to make is what a building would have to go through to prepare to receive the president (a lame comparison, I know. I’m still shaking the rust of my inspiration gland).

EVERYTHING is considered a threat (to test security), every corner is monitored by highly trained personnel (i.e. the next name on the alphabetized staff roster as duties are assigned), and the event is catered (insofar as you can say that school lunch is a catered affair).My duty was predetermined at conception.

Listen, I’m a dude. Society dictates that I potty in a room where only dudes are allowed. Rumor has it that there are similar rooms for chicks, but I’ve never been in one. During state testing, the restrooms have to be monitored. The students like have think tanks after going potty. Such a clandestine rendezvous might cause a student to score a little higher and help him or her land a job that he/she is not qualified for (before discussing it in the bathroom, he/she thought the square root of 64 was 116, or that George Washington discovered America, or something).

Such a forbidden meeting might go like this (it’s funnier if you imagine them speaking in British accents): “The answer to #4 is unequivocally option ‘C.'” Says George. Carl scoffs at this, replies “I’d put ‘C’ if I wanted to get it wrong!” Jim busts in and says, “Will one of you please hurry? I really need to go potty.” He then starts doing the potty hop on one leg. George and Carl, having agreed that the answer is actually ‘D’, have moved on to discussing the merits of multiple choice testing and are too engrossed in the subject to hear Jim’s urgent request to pee (peequest?). Just as they decide that short answer questions would be the best assessment tool, but too difficult to grade, Jim soils himself. Now Jim rushes to finish the test so he can go home to change his pants. He ends up failing the test, and repeats the grade. His self esteem is shot, he stops trying in school, and is forced to take a low paying job at an aerosol can factory. As we all know, aerosol cans deplete the ozone layer – contributing to global warming.

In effect, not monitoring the bathrooms during standardized testing contributes to global warming.

This brings us back to my conception. In order to prevent cheating, rousing discussions on testing methods, and global warming, the people who create and enforce standardized testing (Satan, Barbra Streisand, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) have decreed that all potties be monitored during standardized testing. As a male, it is altogether fitting and proper that I should do this.  Getting back to being I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D (part one HERE), ‘P’ will now stand for “potty monitor”.

In keeping with the topic of standardized testing, ‘I’ stands for “Irregularity”. This is a very common, yet much maligned term used for any aberration from testing procedures, which is pretty much everything.

For instance, I told a student to “knock it dead”, ‘it’ being the science test. Moments later an owl flew by and dropped a letter at my feet. It was addressed to “Test Defiler Wilson”. I opened it and it started screaming at me (sounded like Tom Cruise). It said, ” It was reported at 8:03:56am that you bade a student to ” knock it dead” in reference to a test. This is in direct violation of subsection ee of decree 17 of chapter 119 of section four of the third edition of the educator code, copied here for your convenience: Thou shalt not wish luck to any student the student to figuratively use violence between 8:02 and 8:07am. Examples: “knock it dead,” “kick it’s butt,” and “slay that puppy”. For this irregularity, we’re taking away your stapler. May God have mercy on your soul.”

I can’t give you a example of a real irregularity – that, in and of itself, would be an irregularity. However, I can tell you that ‘R’ stands for refill.

When I write the word ” refill”, you probably think of an icy cold beverage at your favorite local eatery. That is quite far from I’m talking about. I refer, of course, to going to the doctor to refill the pump in your abdomen with that sweet, sweet muscle relaxer called Baclofen – which is 1,000 times stronger than the oral stuff. If you’re unfamiliar with this process, I’ve provided some pictures for you. These shots capture the wide variety of emotions that surface during a refill (read the captions for more info).

Primary emotion - euphoria. I never learn, every time I go in for a refill, I think they're going fill it with Pepsi or something, so I'm very excited. But...
Reading the Pump. Primary emotion – euphoria. I never learn, every time I go in for a refill, I think they’re going fill it with Pepsi or something, so I’m very excited. But…
...then comes the dread of knowing that, even if they do fill it with Pepsi, I'm going to get poked. Primary emotion - dread
Dawning the Pump               …then comes the dread of knowing that, even if they do fill it with Pepsi, I’m going to get poked. Primary emotion – dread

 

Primary emotion - boredom. I've been stuck with A LOT of needles. I'm not bragging when I say that getting stuck with a needle is as routine as going potty.
Prepping for the Poke. Primary emotion – boredom. I’ve been stuck with A LOT of needles. I’m not bragging when I say that getting stuck with a needle is as routine as going potty.
The Stick. Primary emotion - rage. Like I said in the previous pic, getting poked doesn't bother me. If I recall, I was so upset on this particular occasion because they didn't have any "Where's Waldo" books in this exam room.
The Stick. Primary emotion – rage. Like I said in the previous pic, getting poked doesn’t bother me. If I recall, I was so upset on this particular occasion because they didn’t have any “Where’s Waldo” books in this exam room.
Sucking out the old stuff. Primary emotion - stunned sadness. The old Baclofen had been a part of me for a few months, now it's gone.
Sucking out the old stuff. Primary emotion – stunned sadness. The old Baclofen had been a part of me for a few months, now it’s gone.
Pumping in the new stuff. Primary emotion - contentment. I'm just about done and the medical assistant has gone to get the "Where's Waldo" books
Pumping in the new stuff. Primary emotion – contentment. I’m just about done and the medical assistant has gone to get the “Where’s Waldo” books

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

 

 

SiLiMes #15 – Birdese

I send messages to reading teachers to inform them that one of their students has a book on hold. I started writing these clever poems & vignettes. * = a student’s name –

A little bird flew into the library today and said, “KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW! KAW!” Luckily, I speak bird, so I’ll translate.  She said “* has a book on hold, he has until MONDAY 10/03 to pick it up, or it will ‘KAW!’ to the next ‘KAW!’”…couldn’t quite understand that last part, but you get the idea.

SiLiMes #14 – Another Message from the Aching Bookcase

*= Student with a book on reserve – this entry plays off of a previous message found HERE

It’s the bookcase again – The ravenous fervor you instill in your students for reading has produced another shelf-breaking hold. Please have * pick up her book by TUESDAY 12/6.

Still Aching,
A Bookcase

SiLiMes #11 – “HOLD of the Rising Sun”

Here’s another silly message I sent to the reading teachers when one of their students has book ready that had been reserved. Again, *= A student’s name.

There is a Library in Sherman,TX
They call the *school name* Library
And it’s reserved books for many a student
And Gosh, * & * are some

My mother is a bureaucrat
She is very particular about dates
She insists the book get picked up by WEDNESDAY 11/02
And be sure they bring money to pay late rates

SiLiMes #10 – General Silliness

Once upon a time, there was a library assistant who sent out hold reminders. This dude enjoyed writing creative vignettes to inform the reading teacher that one of their students had a book ready in the library. After weeks of imaginative tales of robots, time travel, and bird translation, his imagination gland started to run short on balderdash juice, that crucial enzyme for waxing creatively. As such, he was forced to simply give the facts: * by WEDNESDAY 10/26.

Librarily,

Jarrett

SiLiMes #9 – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm

A held book message paying homage to a silly song from my youth –

Once there was this kid who
Came into the library at – Middle School
But when she got here
She couldn’t find the book she was looking for
* decided to put that book on hold
She has until WEDNESDAY 11/02 to come get it

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm,
Jarrett

SiLiMes #7 – “BoHOLDian Rhapsody”

Gotta pay respects to the masters of rock –

* & *,
have books ready,
Put a hold on them some time ago
Now they’re ready to go,
Mrs. +…this hold has just begun,
From now they’ve got three school days.
Teacherrr oooh,
make sure you tell these two,
If they’re not back again (in the library) this time TUESDAY 2/28,
The books will move on, move on to the next patron.

Queenily,
Jarrett

SiLiMes #5 – Mr. Roboto Hold

For this reserve e-mail, I ripped off Styx’s “Mr. Roboto”. The ‘+’ represents the teacher’s name, the –o would be added onto the end of that name (for instance, if the teachers name was Mr. Kotter, I’d first to welcome him back, and I would address him as Mr. Kotter-o). The “*” represents a student’s name.

Domo Arigato Mrs. +-o,
You’re wondering who I am – machine or library man. I send out hold e-mails and like to write tall tales!I’ve got a hold, ready for *
She has until, MONDAY 11/21, to get this far
So if you see me acting strangely, that’s really bad,
I hate to see, a hold go wasted, it makes me sad,
Send her on time, send her on time,
Can’t find a word to rhyme (oh wait)

Sayonara,
Jarrett

SiLiMes #4 – Annabel Lee Hold

It was many and many a year ago,

In a library not too far,

That a student there visited whom you may know

By the name of  *;

And a book beckoned to her –

“Come get me, no matter where you are”

I am an adult and she is a child,

In this library not too far;

And, as the library aide it is my job to inform her-

How long this hold will be;

With an e-mail to her reading teacher, saying –

WEDNESDAY 11/9, this school day plus three

Annabel Lee-ily,

Jarrett

SiLiMes #3

I send messages to reading teachers to inform them that one of their students has a book on hold. I started writing these clever poems & vignettes. * = a student’s name.

I was sitting on my chair,
On my desk there were no holds there.
I turned to a patron, “turn that book in if you dare!”
She didn’t have one book, but a pair.
When I checked them in I received a scare!
It turns out that, to wait in line and be fair,
Both * & * had laid bare
Their intentions to tear
Through these books when they came to their
Possession. They have until TUESDAY 3/6 if they care.

Librar(ily),
Jarrett