The EdublogsClub prompt this week is assessment. I was watching Train to Busan last night. It was a brilliant movie and I felt close to tears at some points. One scene stood out to me, it was when a rough-looking man who was mumbling hid in a bathroom stall and Yon-suk was asking the train guard to investigate. The train guard opened the door and tried to talk to the man. Yon-suk and a child named Soo-an witnessed the interaction; Yon-suk then turned to Soo-an and this exchange took place (approximate translation):
Yon-suk If you don’t study hard, you’ll end up like him.
Soo-an My mom said that anyone who says that is a bad person.
Yon-suk I guess your mother didn’t study hard.
These attitudes are so prevalent that I’ve given up arguing with them. Because you always get a comeback like the above. I didn’t do well in assessments at school, that’s true. Then three years ago when I started getting merits and distinctions on my access course. Even then I had no reason to be happy about my grades because I knew people would criticise my choice in a soft subject or argue that access courses are easier than A-levels (or something like that).
So I have accepted that if I want my knowledge or skills to be verified I need to do assessments. And that’s just the way it is.
Similar to the feedback blog post, I find I like to quiz myself. I stumbled upon a game called The End a few years back and it encouraged me to go back and question my own beliefs. There is a series of philosophical questions about death alongside the game. Your answers put you on a map called the Death Dial.
There are pieces on each of the famous thinkers. Which is a feature I found interesting because I ended up being further away from the famous thinkers I politically sympathise with on the Death Dial than I expected. So, I experimented with different answer combinations to see where that would move me. I also noticed that I felt strongly that I did not want to be on the map because I think death is a very personal thing, but then I questioned why I was feeling so precious about it.
I still have reservations about my answers, not because I’m unsure but because I don’t think it’s my place to say… and also, I think there are qualifiers. One of the questions is whether I think animals understand death – I think they may understand that it will happen, but I don’t necessarily think they know the meaning of it any more than we do. But then, what does it matter if their understanding is flawed? Is a flawed understanding still an understanding? Also, can understanding ever be flawed if it is a personal feeling?
My answers still continue to change. Because time and learning have changed me too.
Assessment can sometimes feel like an end. And I think that’s why I find them so hard. I’m never ready for change.