A sea of faces peered straight ahead. They stared long and hard at the screen as if hypnotised by the cascading digits and alphabets that appeared like a waterfalls tiny droplets. The aura of the technological world draws them in, engaging each one seated across this magnetic presence. Uncaring of the distractions that come their way, feverish clicking resonates in the otherwise silent air. Incessant mouse clicks and a few gentle ones, pave a way to the state of mind of each examinee. An insight into their restrained emotions, during this test of mind and nerves. Intense attempts to beat the hands of the clock are made continuously.
The pianists unleash potential. Keyboards come alive creating a symphony that is music to the fingers of these digital natives. Slender chairs they occupy, slender fingers prance across the keys; but slender of mind they aren’t!
Intense focus reflects off their learner faces whilst I stand here a mute spectator of a spectacle that leaves me in awe. Mesmerised. Nervous energy wafts in the air. It’s mine. This is a language I can’t relate to. This a language I can’t decode for its Latin to me. The multitudinous drops defy gravity and move in all directions on the screen. Often, they transform into a fizzy spray that is trapped within a box controlled by these nimble but firm fingers. These know how to make the droplets dance. Boxed numbers and alphabets! But what is being unboxed is the talent of manipulating them; the learning through a year of hard work and diligence. Aptitudes and skills are on their way to the altar of an examination.
Precise. Focussed. Digital Natives. They alarm me. During such times an internal warning system signals to me to stay within the parameters of an invigilator. But I manage this only for a while. I break into a sweat, when a young hand rises to beckon an unhelpful me. Unsure in mind but with firm steps I walk towards the query raiser. My darting eye catches a pair of legs shaking vigorously in anxiety as I cover the length of the computer lab. Clackety keys and fervent mouse-clicking stalk me on my way to the one who had asked for help.
“Can I help you?” I am surprised by my own confident tone. Certainly, a language teacher, proud of her years of experience in teaching but this peculiar language-not for me. A nervous finger draws my attention to some stuff on the screen which seems as obstinate and relentless as the nervousness that accosts me. It refuses to go away. It afflicts his exam, like virus difficult to get rid of. The help-seeker looks up at me from his throne and hopes for a miracle from me. ME!
Gently yet confidently I whisper,” Examination. DIY please.”
PS: DIY- Do it yourself.