What makes a marker tick?
My wife belongs to that strange sub-species of the human race which defies any rational explanation - SQA exam markers. This is indeed a strange animal. Not only is it prepared to undertake the most mind- boggingly boring task known to the teaching profession, but it is willing to undergo a complete personality transformation in the process:
Friends and colleagues are agreed
A friendly soul she is indeed
Who does her utmost to appease
(Bends over backwards just to please!?)
A refuge to lost dogs or moggies
Who'll cry her way through mushy movies
She helps the kids with last revisions
The gentlest of dispositions
Come exam time . transformation!
Approach with care and trepidation
Lest death you seek or ghastly seizure
Best keep well clear of . Ebeneezer!
Because, when armed with blood-red pencil
Or other "putting-down" utensil
Then out the door flies generosity
Enter grasping, mean monstrosity
Peering o'er censorious specs
(No favour giv'n to age or sex)
She dreams up methods, none too soft
For finding ways to take marks off!
So, forget "Well Done", in sky-blue Bic
A "smiley face" or a kindly tick
No, to issue crosses is her goal
And our Mrs Meanie's on a roll
Nerves a-twitching, nostrils flaring
Eyes expectant, glowing, staring
The pencil jerks, excited, shifty
Another one's scored less than Fifty!
One more has buckled to her will
And failed to gain their "Higher Still"!
Yes, now her pile is one text lighter
She's nobbled one more poor, wee blighter
A parent's hopes, a pupil's dream
Extinguished by her Marking Scheme
(unless they can connive and deal
And pass through some accursed appeal!)
Come the final marking paper
Cruella's grip begins to taper
And soon she will revert to type
Resume the form we know and like
Emergent from this year's psychosis
The SQA metamorphosis!!
Dave Ross, Valentine Drive, Daneston, Aberdeen.