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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
        Monday, May 24 2004

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

There will be a quiz

After the introduction of either a semester's course outline or a big assignment over the next several days in a course, the worst words a student can hear are "there will be a quiz." Or maybe even a little worse than the worst: "there will be a pop quiz," meaning there will be a lot of reading and independent study in the semester ahead, and occasionally I will check your progress by popping a quiz designed to reveal whether you've been keeping up.

I've been gathering topic sentences, clauses, and catch phrases that can lend themselves to little essays in the ongoing life of these Jonal postcards. This one popped into my head while I waited for my breakfast at the counter in the cafe where I work. Though quizzes are a sad fact of academic life, I pondered as my omelette was being grilled, they are also a fact of everyday life as well, once you're through your academic life and into your career. How well you do in the quizzes determines how well you do in many college courses, but how well you do in the real life "quizzes" determines the quality of your life and in many instances the quality of your character.

Of course it's possible to avoid college entirely, and forfeit any benefits accruing through getting a higher education. It's also possible to find easy courses and in some schools you can even find out in advance which instructors give pop quizzes and those who don't, and those who give only essay-type tests (which strange students like me much prefer) or give only true-false tests, and choose the instructors best suited to your test aptitudes.

You cannot, however, avoid the real-life "pop quizzes" that will occur as you do your work, regardless of whether you have a "professional" (also called "white collar") occupation or a more workaday "laboring" or "blue collar" job. Nor can you avoid the pop quizzes that occur in life outside the job. "Quizzes" like "what do you do when someone next to you at work, or at a social or recreational setting, keels over in need of immediate medical attention?" "What do you do when someone accuses you of doing your job poorly, or shirking most of the work you're being paid to do?" "What do you do when the police call at 3 a.m. to tell you your daughter or son is being held for DWI or on a drug charge?" "What do you do when you find out your spouse is having an affair?" "What do you do when you get offered a tete a tete with someone you've had your eye on, even though you should not have?" "What do you do when you find out it's fallen to you to take care of the arrangements when a parent has died?"

Life is full of pop quizzes. Maybe if you still have the option, you should opt to take the teacher who makes them part of every course. It could be much needed preparation for the rest of your life. Even your afterlife...?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 

Less-known proverbs

A day without sunshine is like ... night.

Sent by Mary Ann Losiewicz 

Thought for today

Inside every older person is a younger person—wondering what the heck happened.

Cora Harvey Armstrong
Sent by Trudy Myers 

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