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Bagrut Marker's Prayer
by Barry Silverberg

Dear Bagrut markers: Several people have complained about doing the 'Tidruch' - Bagrut Marker briefing - in a synagogue. But they've got it all wrong. What place could be better, especially if we take advantage of the location to offer this--
(upon first seeing the pile of exams to mark, one says the following: Oh my Gawd.
How will I ever finish that in a week on top of all my other work?)

(All rise. . .   . . .A-hem.)
Dear God, Allah, Jesus, Buddha , Supreme being, ( circle the best answer:)
Blessed art thou , King of the universe, who hath granted us a contract to grade Bagruts and pad our meager incomes. We who are setting out to grade these papers appeal to thee on high, no, we don't mean Ms Steiner, as we are aiming even higher . Guide us and give us fairness in judgment, and return us sane to our normal lives when its all over.

(please sit. Lean back.) May we receive papers that decipher with ease, with questions that have no more than one meaning, and, if it's not too much to ask, a generous sprinkling of those with blank compositions.

(Complete the following sentence with one word:)
Magnify and ____________ the illegible writing of the answers, and grant us the discernment to know what their sentences mean on one reading.

(take 3 steps backward, genuflect, twirl) Hear O markers, the answer key is ONE and one alone, may it not be cluttered with contradictory amendments.

(Advance 2 steps, shake fist at sky) And for those who copy let there be no hope, and may proctors who reveal answers perish instantly. Speedily smash, uproot and cast down those who sneak cell phones and illegal dictionaries in. Blessed art thou, who can't stand cheating. But, grant success to those who have busted their butts, forsaking the pub and the disco, the pool and the sports field. May they see their just reward.

Spread wisdom over the Szold institute, where it is sorely lacking; May the exams they prepare reflect the levels and abilities of our students, for once. You, in your omnipotence, guide them to prepare fair and accessible questions, especially with module C, which always seems to come out easier than B or harder than D. I know it's tough, but perhaps you can give it a Whirl. (Sephardim stop here. Go have a cup of coffee or something)

Protect us from stiff backs, seized up necks, eye strain, and Ipod finger. Have mercy on our family members, from whom we have departed temporarily. May they understand that we too shall someday rise from the limbo of marking and returneth unto them. Hasten our return, but not at the expense of a generous boochta. (Ashkenazim hop up and down three times with glee.)

Answer our prayers and pleas, O Lord, speedily in our time, preferably through the Blog. And be not quick to anger when, months later, upon receiving the report of our errors, we take your Holy Name in vain: God Al- &^%$^$*&^%) -mighty! How in the Holy #@### did I make a mistake like that! Damn! What was I thinking!      Amen.

/ Barry Silverberg Hamatmid School, Kiriat Shmoan-a Feb3, 2010
P.S. (What is the tone of the above paragraph? A: mused, B:wildered, C: render, D: sgusted)

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