Thursday, 19 January 2006

Bad Day

Today I had the worst examination nightmare of my life, and I've taken a few exams in my time - heaven knows why I am still submitting myself to this torture! First when I arrived at the place where I was to take it - as agreed and paid for last July - the man on the door insisted that it was closed today and that there was no-one there; luckily - or possibly unluckily given the result- there was, although this year I was the only one taking an exam today (in German-English business translation, which I have to retake after failing last year). Then, I was pleased enough that they provided a laptop, since it isn't permitted to take one's own, but the guy wouldn't let me turn it on until the invigilator arrived, 5 minutes before the exam was due to start, and it turned out to have no mouse, only a touchpad, which I don't find very easy to use. After some initial difficulties getting into Word, I was managing OK until I tried to save the text, when it kept insisting it was password protected. I wasted 10 minutes with the invigilator trying to sort it out, neither of us could, and I ended up saving temporarily on the clipboard instead. Of course I could barely concentrate on the translation, and having had another abortive attempt at getting the text on the clipboard into a new document and saving that, decided I would have to write it out by hand, which took me 30 minutes - although this included reviewing the translation and adding notes, even if unfortunately I had no time to re-read what I had written. I estimate that I wasted at least half an hour out of a 2-hour exam because of these problems and on top of that, they were preying on my mind so much that I could barely think, and it was an extremely tricky text, I left at least 3 phrases that I wasn't happy with. To top it all, after I had handed in the paper, the invigilator and the guy from the office that provided the laptop did exactly what we had done before and received the "save" box without the password warning, so it should have been possible to save the text (which in the meantime of course I had changed while writing it out by hand, so there was no point in saving what I had in the laptop). The invigilator promised to send a report to the Institute in London that marks the papers telling them about the problem, but the Institute does specify in its general rules that such problems cannot be taken into account in assessing the quality of the translation. So I have a horrible feeling I have failed this paper again: but I won't find out for at least 3 months, as the results aren't due out till end of April/beginning of May.

After that, I needed something to cheer me up but dinner at an indifferent Italian restaurant and a Georgian dance thing (not my choice, blame La Carioca!) were not quite the things to do it. Although we did have a good laugh at these fur hats, that made the dancers look like Beatles, and a white version accompanied by white fur leggings that made them look like poodles!

I definitely feel a consolation shopping expedition coming on this weekend......


At 19/1/06 04:11, Blogger Green said...

It sounds horrible, reminds me of the day I took very difficult exam for the high school. I forgot my watch and there was no clock on the wall...I was in a cold sweat..
I am sorry to hear that, but the last bit of your description is so funny!

At 21/1/06 05:38, Blogger Luz said...

Happy Shopping!!!


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