Cancel The Exam: Sax Upstairs

Writing without reference to the leadership literature. Leadership seems to be to focus more on the welfare of others, than self, where such focus does not weigh consequences of potential damage to self. Leadership seems to involve an appreciation of the need to consult, when there is time to consult. True leadership is exhibited when making a decision in the immediacy of the moment, when there is not time consult. Could also be demonstrating true stupidity. Had already encountered this, through fractured leadership, in the “assume anything” accounting exam.

Back in the day, when thought I controlled everything, as a professor, cancelled a final exam. Roughly 20 minutes into the exam.

Holding the exam at the Loyola Campus of Concordia University. Accounting exam; taught exclusively accounting at Concordia.

Upstairs at Loyola was the Music Department; all downtown now. For some reason, the Department or some people hadn’t been advised of the need for silence, during exams. So, soon after the exam commenced, started to hear this moaning sax. On the second floor, right above the exam room. Good playing in the moan. Could have left the examination room and gone up to raise the issue. Stop right now, dontcha know, cantcha know. Could have been confronted with people who said they had a right to play.

Chose not to go upstairs. Instead, said the final exam was over. Students left, shocked.

Associate Dean sending message: Could you please explain what has happened here? Essential message: Whadda HELL didya DO?!

Advised students at the time, and the Associate Dean afterwards, that there was enough from course work prior to final to establish student grades. Any student who felt he or she was prejudiced by the term work grade could write an alternate final.

Didn’t believe this was fractured leadership. Could always be wrong. Unfractured stupidity. Though leadership also involves a willingness to acknowledge fault.

Leadership weighing the examination conditions, coming to a conclusion, and acting on same, that the exam conditions had been severely impaired. No thought as to personal consequences. All referenced to welfare of the students.

Could have sat there for the next 2 1/2 hours, in silence, watching students write an exam, in severely compromised circumstances. Not my problem. Then write a memo to the Music Department. Save myself with the memo. Chose not to.

Only one student, in a class of 40 or so, wanted to write an alternate final. Did so.


And done.

And maybe no leader.

About brucelarochelle
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