The Young Invigilator

Exam invigilator training yesterday was fine. I look terribly young compared to the other invigilators; they are mostly grey-haired or middle-aged.* There are ex-university employees, retired teachers who love working with students, women who’ve been at home looking after babies but want to ease back into the workforce and professional exam invigilators who also supervise the TEE. There are a number of postgraduate students in the group but they all look older than me. Honestly, I looked like a lost student who shouldn’t be there. Heh.

MH, who moved into the office next to mine earlier this year is also supervising exams for the first time. We went to training together. She said to me, “You’re lucky you did your degree and exams here before, at least you’d have an idea about the procedures, which are all new to me.” I replied, “Well, it was a long time ago, so I don’t really remember my exams that well.” At this point one of the men (who did have grey hair) laughed and said to me, “It couldn’t have been that long ago, at your age!” I was quite annoyed by this presumption and his tone of voice, and tried to be polite in my answer (well, as one of the newbies, I didn’t really want to start off seeming too unfriendly). I said, “Well, that was around ten years ago, so that’s a fairly long time.” He didn’t really say anything but just laughed, quite condescendingly, I thought. Of course, I could see he hadn’t bothered to do the mathematics in his head to realise I am not as young as I look. If I seem a little sensitive about this it’s because I am. I don’t have a problem with people thinking I’m younger than I am, but I resent the way they treat me as a result of it.** Thank goodness I’ve been given a badge to wear that identifies me as an invigilator. I can just imagine: “Hey YOU! Get away from those exam papers. You’re not allowed here.” Heh.

I am looking forward to it, anyway. The experienced invigilators look like a nice enough bunch of people, and I think it will be good to work with them. Hopefully they’ll be cool when I need to run off and get my nappies changed.

* I have nothing against working with people much older than me. I’ve made some very good friends with people at work who are a lot older than me. As I’ve said in this post, my problem is with older people who assume I’m very young and treat me like I’m stupid.

**During my short stint studying IT at a different university I had a tutor who was younger than me. She once said to me, “When you’ve finished your degree and get out in the workforce yourself you’ll see why it is important to know how to work in a team.” I just couldn’t be bothered telling her that not only had I been out in the workforce and worked in teams, I’d trained and managed teams. She was very arrogant. Problem was that she was some sort of prodigy undergraduate student who had been given the job of tutoring first years, so she thought she was hot shit. She treated her students like they were all retarded. She never bothered to learn anyone’s names – we were all a nameless bunch of idiots to her. She’s one of the worst tutors I’ve ever had. I hope I never meet her at a party, because there’s no way I would be nice to her. Yes, I have a memory like an elephant. A grudge-bearing, vengeful elephant. Mwahahahaaaa.

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