Wry Exchange


More on Student Interviews-a TEST?!?
10-24-07, 12:24 am
Filed under: Exchange Program, Exchange Students | Tags: , , ,

 As I said before concerning potential outbound students-everything is a test.  I made up a test we handed to the potential outbounds as they walked in the door for their interviews.  I told them to complete the test, don’t speak to anyone while working on it, and give it back to me when they completed it.  A different person is charge now, she still mostly used my test last year.

I wrote my comments down as I observed the students.  Many of the kids didn’t know who I was; some may have thought I was just a secretary, and treated me rudely.  Others ignored my instructions, and asked their parents or inbound students for assistance.  Some would try to ‘forget’ to complete it and hand it in.   Last year, I caught a mother completing the test for her daughter while speaking to the new outbound student chairman.  She was pissed when I took it out of her hands, gave her daughter a new test, and walked her to the interviewer’s lounge.  The daughter was pissy, too.  (Hey Mom, Guatemala isn’t in South America.) 

Please complete the following statements:

Five current US Senators include ____, _____, ______, ____, and_____.   This should be a gimme.  I can’t tell you how many kids leave this one blank, or put in their local congressman.  I had 2 sets of parents last year tell me they don’t ‘follow politics’ and couldn’t even help their son.  They didn’t know any of the answers.   Hillary Clinton is the first person to go from First Lady to Senator.  I thought they’d all know her.  Kerry, McCain, Kennedy, Reid, Byrd, Dole, or the 2 from our state. 
The population of the USA is _____, and our state’s population is _______.  This is a fun one.  Estimates range from 400,000 in the USA to 54 million in our state. 

Five countries in South America include ___, ____, ____,____, and _____.  Uh, not Mexico or Australia. If you want to go to South American, you should know the countries.  Same with Europe.
______countries border Germany, and they are__________________and  ___.  C’mon, guess something.  Bluff.  Try.  Write a few European countries down, some of them have to be correct.
0 °F is equal to __°C     1 pound = __ kilos.    1 mile = __km     One Euro = $__  Another difficult one, many times with calculations on the back.
Short Essays: You may be asked about the following topics while abroad. Tell me about Hiroshima, Separation of Church and State, Iraq war, Gun Control, Abortion, United Nations, and  Our exchange student’s parent organization.    These change slightly year to year depending on what is in the news.  I included the Electoral College one time.  The students are asked to write a few lines, either fact or opinion.  We wanted to get a baseline to know where to begin January’s training.  Some of these answers are scary-Separation of Church and State are illegal, and the UN is bad.  All time funniest response was about Hiroshima.  (Never thought you’d see that sentence)  The girl wrote: “It helped end the Vietnam war, but the entire family was killed.” 

I think it’s telling if the student at least tries to complete the test.  Many students hand in papers two-thirds empty.  Just try.  Blank means you are lazy, you didn’t take it seriously, didn’t respect me and my directions, or think you’re too important.

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