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by Barry Silverberg

Note: It seems to me that in the four years I've been checking bagrut exams, they get less and less funny. Here is this year's blooper harvest, found either by me or sent in by people with names like Maxine.

The Bible tells us that one man's chuckle is another man's yawn. Once, I would have really gotten a laff out of sentences like these:

I willi axsit a but that you cam to visit (=I'm really excited that you are coming to visit)

Yet one can still manage a smile at these:

the player un-collects the flags
Orienteering is a sport for lovers. (G moed Alef, I think)

Nothing pulls up a non sequitur faster than a misunderstood graphic organizer. This one, from the Moed Alef E exam was a killer. The text brought us the 'clicker' a high -tech gadget implanted in the seats of college lecture halls to help professor Holt see at a glance what percentage of the students in front of him are actually following the lecture, and not sleeping, making out or shooting up. Here is the organizer as it appeared before my unfortunate son in May:

The numbers on the screen show that ...

Holt is not satisfied

He .................

So many pupils didn't even look at the second box, and so threw away up to 18 points even though they clearly understood the text.

But one managed to make his point:

Holt (the lecturer) is not satisfied.
He knows he .... has to go.

Clearly if too many students are bloopering, the axe must fall on the teacher!! A warning to us all.

From the same unseen, we got this one:

Q: What does Holt explain in lines 11-15?

Many got the right answer wrong.

And also this marvelous example of applying previously learned knowledge:...

The students n't understand

Finally, they drew conclusions:

Q 7 What was the benefit of the new system?

The benefit is that they refuse to use it in their classrooms.
. . . that each of the students is getting a direct proportion
(i.e. )

The E Listening Passage dealt with research about first impressions.

Q: Why are first year students chosen for this experiment?
A: They .........(correct answer: meet many people in a short time.)

Selected students' answers:
They are new in university and need many new members (perhaps because tuition costs an arm and a leg)
- are very large students
- meet large people in first time.
- meat a lot of pears

I had the honor to mark the D Writing Passage: Your friend from abroad is coming to visit: Write and tell him/her about a special somebody you want him/her to meet.

The Greeting and Opening

This one started off so optimistically, but totally doomed:

Who are you? I am Fain

This one just liked the rhyme:

Hi Nadia, I am samah actually factually

And these nobody has figured out:

I moisture for you
What's up your car and car

And there's always one who takes the fall:

I want to tell you a broad is planning to visit my friend.

THE BODY: (of the letter not of the friend)

Note the rhyme in the first line:

I want you and me to meet Amit
He is a great gay and fany person

See you both at the parade.

How the friends first met ...

I met a girl mouth to mouth she tell me that she search a partner
He smiled and introduced a cake to me.

... I met him in class and he was makin a move on me

What first attracted him to her; She is a long blue eyes
The truth is so simple: I have a new girlfriend. She better than my last girlfriend.

I think you like my fuchure wife     that's 'future--' not as bad as it looked at first.

I am going to Vienna to meet a girl that I saw in the apartment of my uncle ... She is the best girlfriend of my uncle     What sort of business is this wicked uncle running?

The task specified: Write why you want your friend to meet this person:

... I want you to meet a wonderful woman ...I think you need women in your life.

... The reason I want you to visit Jerusalem is the importance she has for the Jehova.

What will they do together? Where will they go?

... Tel Aviv, the purty city

or perhaps to ...

Jerusalem is a big city, in Alaska    Hey! This could bring peace to the middle east!

Or down south:

The people in Elat very different, black or white, fat or no fat.

Once we get to there, what will we do?

We always hand around the mall (what, stolen goods?)

I'll show you my best girlfriend. What, you have them stuffed and mounted on the wall?

General remarks about 'me' and my friend:

I take in the bole every day in the morning.

In my day, we had to take out the bowl every day in the morning.

You'll have to meet my friend and go out with him because I cant:
the doctor amjad come in my nose
    A good excuse!

Soon you will be here and. . . you will see one of the second
( )

Not all wrote about a friend:

I what you to meet my teacher: She lick all the pupil in the class.

I tell you my secret - usually I think my teacher of biology is my father.     And he can get the DNA test done so easily in the lab.

I have know you my grandmother ... she cout and spachl and she can to get ready you viands    ( = She's cute and special and she can prepare meat dishes) mrokaim you not met ... ( I checked: This one had legal access to the electronic dictionary).

I really want recognize to my mother, she human ducks, there is my mother very daintiness ...
Help me on this one: What are human ducks?

After describing her ma at length, she felt she should give equal time:
My father also he person ... I hope

My father can teach you about the Israeli culture for example how to milk a cow
   (maybe from right to left?     Tarbu-teats?)

Let's say the one above takes second place and this fellow takes home the cup: He writes how he wants his friend to meet an actor from 'Viva' and then unintentionally lapses into Spanish:

I know I'm writing something that no pasa forever.

CLOSURE ... I think we are you and me
. Didn't John Lennon say that?

Some make do with a simple

See me soon.    (of course, she could be Korean)

Or a very direct --

Don't forget to bring t me the surprise.    Then it won't be a surprise, will it?

...Come to me before long and know there

... I love you and I wait here

And, finally, another winner in the mistranslation category:

Tune flying,
Give up, eh? Miriam, who sent this in, reminded me that a ni'ee'ma is a tune. Teesa Nieema!!!

And now, the F and G compositons: The importance of money as a consideration in choosing a job career,
Module G:

"You can start [your career] as a police officer and to be, after some years, a manager of a police state. "

"Everything costs money except the air that we smell."

"If having money brings him happiness he should choose the most profitable career. However, most of us aren't that shallow. We have other things to consider, like honor and prestige."

"You can't be happy when you are up to your sleeves with debt."
    Notice that the poorest sectors often have the longest sleeves!

"The more you have money the less you have something to buy."    (Huh?)

"If one chooses an unworthy job, teaching, for example....... " (finish the sentence)

"I have to care for my family that they will get a nice home to live in and worm food to eat when they come back home."

"It's the only way of achieving a happy, working society and will lower the rage of cranky, cold-hearted businessmen's suicides. "

"Our dreams it's like our shadows, when it disappears we will know that we disappeared. "
Thanks for making that clear.

"We all just human, we will live 120 years and dead. " (I'm trying to figure out if this one is an optimist or a pessimist).

"As we read in a play called 'Death of an Agent'............"

And of course, if you have money,     "You can bribe important people."

This one I loved until it occurred to me that this kid was trying to butter me up:

"I believe one should seek purpose and satisfaction when looking for a job or career. Teaching, for example, will not bring in a lot of money but the reward is eventually far greater than a big pile of money in one's bank account."

This one is far more realistic:

"In conclusion, in my opinion, money is the reason why people choose job, because after all, no one like reading Bagrut test all sumer long..."

And this one found the perfect closure:

To sum it up in four words: "Money isn't everything."


Collected, uncollected and recollected by

Barry Blooper Silverberg,
August, 2007

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