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Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976

Harassment Tricks

Harassment Tricks

Very frequently you must look to the supervisor as your friend in this part of your campaign. I have frequently gone to examinations where the chatter of the supervisor has stopped any intelligent thinking in the room. This is due, of course, to the bribes of a competitor in the room next door. If this happens all you can do is resolve that she is only hindering the others in the class, and help her as much as you can in her aim. Once a supervisor spent most of the exam time telling the competitors what they were entitled to, how to head their paper, and other distracting information. This is bad - the essence of harassment is that you do not yourself get harassed. Ask questions - what sort of knot you should tie in your little piece of brown string, whether it is alright for you to put your number in the corner where it says to put your name - there are numerous ploys you can use. But it is probably better for you to take over completely and use your own strategy.

One of the best and most used ploys is the Paper Asking Trick. Make sure you use this when the supervisor's back is turned, so that you can make a great deal of noise. If you sit in an inaccessible place, so much the better.

Another gimmick that seems to be finding increasing favour is the Windown Sitting Trick. Sit in the full sun in a window seat, and, in the course of the exam ask if you can move. This is guaranteed to upset a considerable number of people, especially the others in the room sitting in full sun; they spend the rest of the exam wondering if they should have asked to move as well.

Closely allied to this is the 'Excuse Me' Trick. The name is confusing. Never ask to be excused. Always state in a loud voice: "I want to have a piss!" This is sure to shock half the room. But the main value of this trick is that suspicious minds consider that you have notes outside that you could be looking up. Of course, if you do have anything you want to look up - but I must not put ideas into your head.

Finally, don't forget that you are permitted to eat in the exams. The Crunching Trick is an old favourite which is still popular. In Oxford, as the story goes, all competitors used to be entitled to a pint of ale in the exam, but rumour has it that the last time a student asked for his pint he was later disqualified for not wearing silver slippers.

I don't know whether it would work but I have often considered turning up for an exam equpped with a portable and insisting that I be permitted to type. It seems ludicrous to me that in exams you have to pursue such an outmoded convention as writing your script legibly with a pen.