(mostly) daily photoblog

Where do these stairs go?

Sorry about the scrolling down.

These are stairs that exist in the back hallways at Simon Fraser University.  I marked Provincial Exams there today (and yesterday and tomorrow and Tuesday).  I marked 660 exams today and over 1000 over the last two days.  It’s been fun.

What really has been fun is the Maggie Benson Center.  We mark exams in three different rooms in this building and I’ve spent quite a number of days over the last 10 years marking exams here.  What that means is that I’ve tried out as many back hallways as possible.  Some are not accessible without a security pass, but quite a few allow anyone to wander around.  I haven’t taken these stairs, but I think they come out near the student services area.

SFU is a big, concrete mass on the top of Burnaby Mountain, and was designed by Arthur Erickson.  I love Erickson’s vision, in that he followed the contour of Burnaby Mountain with his designs.  What I’m not sure I love is that it’s all grey.  On the top of a mountain.  In the Lower Mainland of BC.  What that means is that it rains a lot, and even when it’s not, it’s cloudy a lot, and when you’re at the top of a mountain you’re often surrounded by clouds, even when everyone else is not.  Let’s just say, it gets a little depressing up there.

But what the school has done is put in these splashes of safety yellow.  On stairs.  On railings.  All over the place.  Yellow explosions amongst the sea of grey.


5 responses

  1. How does one get the position of marking provincial exams? I’m just curious.

    February 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    • About 9 years ago I went through the credentialing process (5 hours of training – including a 2 hour “test” in which you have to mark 55 essays, of which you cannot be incorrect or you will not mark at all). It is fun – hahahaaa…and then you have the pleasure of marking 300 to 600 a day for four days in February, five days in July, and a random weekend in May.

      February 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

  2. You omitted mention of the cheerfully dilapidated black plumbing!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm

  3. It must pay some awesome money otherwise I cannot see the appeal!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    • The pay is good. Honestly, the January marking session is not worth the trouble for the pay. Two days of TOC coverage, planning for classes to work while I’m here, plus the marking – not worth it. The May and July sessions are better, but that’s not the reason to do the marking. But if a marker is marking for the money, they are challenged in a mental way. The knowledge that I gain about the exam, that all of my students will have to write, is the reason I do it. I get to see how the exam is marked, the process behind it; plus, we do a lot of advocating to make sure the next exam (written in April, btw) is fair for our students.

      That said, it is nice to get a cheque delivered to the house in about a month.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm