Monday, April 07, 2008

riddle me this...

Last week in a departmental meeting, I was presented with a new job prospect. I guess I should back up a little and tell you that one of my current responsibilities is admissions testing. When a prospective student applies, I test their English ability to see if the student is a good fit for our school, and vice versa. We've had quite a few students to test recently, as the school is in its final stages of expansion, and thus has a number of spots to fill. Anyway, the ESL portion of the admissions screening is quite short and doesn't take long to administer, and in the past has been carried out by both myself and the middle-school ESL teacher. Having two of us giving this portion of the test simultaneously has been a bit on the unnecessary/excessive side, and we've both been left with a considerable amount of down-time between students. So I brought this up in our last meeting, sure that there was a better way to divvy up the testing load. Our director thought it over and suggested that during our next screening session, the middle school ESL teacher will do the ESL portion of the test on her own, while yours truly will do a chunk of a whole different test, more specifically, the riddles portion of another test.

Yes, you read that correctly. It looks like asking riddles will soon be part of my job. This might sound strange, but let me assure you that the test is legitimate and well-respected, and the riddles are not meant to be confusing. On the contrary! They test a range of sub-skills from vocabulary knowlege to problem solving, but do get progressively harder.

Quite a few questions came to mind when the new arrangement was first suggested, and I'll leave you with some of those.

1. Can I require prospective students to address me as "The Riddler"?
2. Can I write my own riddles and throw some of those into the mix?
3. Can I show up to testing dressed in a court jester's costume?
4. Can I preface each riddle with the words "riddle me this"?
5. Can I play a few notes on a recorder after each riddle, like this guy?

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