Tis I, The Invigilator!!

What thinking column: ivigilator illustrationI think I’m pretty smart…sometimes. I have a decent vocabulary, play a mean game of Words with Friends and had my share of wins of Scrabble games against my mom. I’m in a book club (sort of – and even attend whether  I actually finish the book or not) and have read some seriously intense articles on the internet regarding marketing/business/philosophy/education/health/science/the list goes on…but never on politics, sailing or body-building – go figure.

I have been asked to proctor many exams as my main job is currently based in an extension of a University.  I recently was asked by a sweet young lady to help her with her midterm and exam which I was happy to do.

Then, came the instructions from her school in Canada…3 PAGES OF INSTRUCTIONS! This was serious. No online course from some obscure online program…uh, this meant I had to read everything…the problem was I had no idea what an invigilator was. I didn’t even know how to say it. Yet, there it was, in black and white, calling me names I’d never heard. The Invigilator. Being the good girl that I am I read all 3 pages. Usually when you don’t understand a word you can figure it out (most of the times) by the content of the paragraph so I knew it was referring to me – but still didn’t know how to pronounce it.

So natch – I went to my favorite website (inner nerd shout-out) Thesaurus.com to hear the animated female audio so I could learn the word. According to the 10 synonyms suggested to describe this word I fell under the category of 4, yes 4 okay maybe even 5 of them. And that’s being generous. As far as I know I am not a watchdog and was not eaves-dropping. I wasn’t listening, guiding or counseling. I was just monitoring. I am not an informant – well, unless you count the fact that I’d be informing the University that the exam was done under my eagle eye and would certainly tell them in the event of a water main break or natural disaster should that happen during  and interrupting the exam. Really? Yup, page 2 paragraph 4. 

Oh well. Usually the invigilator gets paid – I waived the fee since I am sitting here anyway and figured I could do 35 other things at the same (as all women can do). In fact, I gained something more than money – I gained knowledge. I learned a new word. A great word. A word I can not even imagine using ever again in any other context, nevertheless, it’s the small things in life that make me happy. Yes, me, The Invigilator!!

(by the way – WordPress picked up the word “invigilator” as misspelled and had no alternate spelling…just saying).



  1. Ha! Jonny calls proctors invigilators and I love to laugh at him as Canadianitude for it! That and loonies and toonies. (canadian dollar and two dollar coins)!

  2. It would drive me insane not knowing what it means. I’d have to write the university and find out. Maybe I’m already insane:). All the best for a happy, healthy New Year!

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