Tuesday, February 02, 2010

An oral exam worse than a trip to the dentist

The oral portion of my French exam was odder than anticipated. Instead of sitting alone with my professor, the scenario unfolded in front of the entire class. I haven’t felt group humiliation on this level since showering after my 7th grade P.E. class - and just like then, the only person who seemed to enjoy it was the teacher. After all of us had spoken, some better than others, the graded written exams were distributed. The professor started with those who had failed. Arriving in front of their desks, she handed over their heavily marked exams and explained what they had done wrong. In most cases it was uncomfortable, but delicate - like an eyebrow wax. But then, from the front of the class, the professor told one student a few rows back that she would never advance to the next level because it was clear from the essay portion she suffered from dyslexia.

Just in case there were any doubts that the French are frank - and that medical advice is free here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

At least you knew the French term for "dyslexia" - that's gotta count for something.

-James

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Adrian said...

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The Late Bloomer said...

OMG, they love to shame you in any kind of academic context here! I can attest to that... Perhaps it's one of the reasons why I've avoided trying to get back into the French school system, even though I know it would probably be good for me and would help me in the long run, professionally speaking. But I'm dreading Emma's school years and having to deal with interacting with the teachers... GULP! I absolutely *hate* that whole concept of shaming a student with the twisted idea that that will help them to work better or improve... There are lots of things I love about France, but this is definitely not one of them!

Amy75 said...

Hi Alice! Are you on your new laptop?! What a great gift :) I agree w/you. There's lots to love about France, but that part of the education system isn't one of them. Fred has some really bad memories. Little Emma will be fine though because you'll be there to balance it all out with support and encouragement.

Anonymous said...

yikes ... and we just signed Luca up for the French Lycee here in San Francisco. Just in case we can't f-up our own kid enough we've enlisted the help of the Education Nationale.

Meriem