Monday May 29, and my last exam as a student, probably ever. A sad thought – no more cosy academic learning, now it’s back to the old fashioned way of reading books and watching TV and passing off ideas overheard in the pub as my own.
Anyway, the exam was an embarrassment, and some people finished this five-hour test of knowledge in two hours. It took me four, and that was taking it VERY easy indeed – lots of eating of chocolate, doodling and staring at the ceiling.
If I fail this exam, you see, I will get another chance at it…and then another…and then yet another. In fact it is almost impossible in Sweden to NOT pass an exam. You would have to be an utter idiot, or just somebody who had wandered by accident into the wrong room, and even then you have a pretty good chance.
This leads to inflation in the value of the degrees issued. Since any moron in Sweden can pass any exam through mere trial-and-error, it makes my degree worth very little. My girlfriend M. is studying to be a nurse, and you would be truly terrified if you knew how easy it is for even the astonishingly thick to become a nurse. The teachers don’t really give a shit, they don’t stick to deadlines and the students are practically encouraged to be lazy and cheat as much as they can. This means that the few dedicated and good students (M., for one) get the same diploma as a bunch of abject idiots who cannot send e-mail, understand written instructions, make ZIP files or spell properly even with the aid of the spellchecker.
When I was a student (here we go again…) you had two chances at an exam, and after that you had to repeat the entire year. If you fail the repeat year, then you can piss off and find a position more suiting your level of competence (such as somewhere beginning with “Mc” and ending in “Donalds”).
I don’t mean to suggest that stupid people should be denied a university education…well actually I do. Yes I really DO. I had to suffer stupid people my whole life, and I must admit to being very glad that they are the ones packing my fries and sticking a straw in my milkshake, instead of inserting my catheter or tweaking the turbine that keeps my airplane in the sky.
Everybody can’t be good at everything.