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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004

Time Event
9:10p
Anyway you'll never know the many ways I've tried

Two of the bodies buried in the Nicoll HIghway collapse were recovered over the day; one remains missing. That's believed to be a supervisor who went back in the tunnel when signs suggested there might be a collapse in order to make sure everyone was out. And a chunk of the Merdeka bridge is being sliced out so that the Crawford Underpass can be reopened safely, which will relieve some pressure on the roads.

My theories about students hoarding blue books in some exams and turning them back later took a hit today: the exam booklets for today's were all light orange. According to other invigilators the school has supplies of many different book colors, with the choice made by whoever gets the booklets; there's no established procedure(!). Yet the three exams given in the same venue today all had the same orange books.

My exam venue (both times) was several classrooms with the movable partition walls taken out, providing five long rows of 22 desks each, all numbered going down the long room. Since seats are assigned sequentially, this means each class takes up a long and narrow strip of space. This is done to make it harder to see anyone raising one's hand in back. The exams both days had many more students in one class than in mine; today's also had four students taking a third exam.

What throws me is the students from separate exams were assigned sequentially, so that the larger class had desks 1 through 50; then my class had seats 52 through 71; the other had 73 through 76. This split my class between two rows, though there were plenty of seats that each class could start at an individual row. They know the seat arrangements; this is the same venue seating as last term and the Registrar makes up the seat assignments, after all. I'd ask why they don't let classes start from the front of rows, but I'm sure there's a detailed explanation. I can't say it's goofier than the old exams in the RPI Armory Middle and Ends.

Trivia: Walt Kelly's famous rewriting of Captain Oliver Hazard Perry's quote for the environmental movement first appeared in 1953 as: ``There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us. Forward!'' Source: The Pogo Papers, Walt Kelly. (And how long will it be until Perry is thought to have modified Kelly?)

Currently Reading: The Silver Eggheads, Fritz Leiber. Wonderful late 50s/early 60s science fiction humor about automated novel-generating machines, wannabe writers, and of course the sex lives of government censor robotesses. Highly recommended.

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