Senior Damien Pamilla reported that during a break in the middle of his Calculus AB AP test, an ongoing scuffle between him and one of the proctors culminated in the proctor explaining to him that "guys that have big mouths like you they get their asses kicked. So one of these days, you're going to get your ass kicked. And when you do, think of me…"
"All I could say was, 'Uh, yeah. I'll be sure to do that.'"
Although the incident was not without provocation, Pamilla and others felt that this was hardly the treatment he deserved during an already stressful test.
According to Pamilla, tensions between him and the proctor began during a different AP test a few days earlier. When sealing the multiple choice section of the AP Literature and Composition test with special stickers, he and a friend decided to "twist the packet papers all unevenly and crumpled and then seal the stickers over the mangled mass of papers." Pamilla expected a smirk or a small comment from the proctor. Instead, the proctor gave him a "fierce glare" and proceeded to call him a "jerk," force him to call his parents, and threaten to kick him out of the test. Another proctor simply picked up the crumpled packets and made a humorous comment about them.
After the packets were picked up, Pamilla thought the fiasco was over. Not so. The proctor then demanded that Pamilla follow him to the back. Explained Pamilla, "Kind of scared of what he might do to me in a back room of a church [we took our AP tests at a church near school], I hesitated a little. But after determining that I could probably take him in a fight, I followed him." Once in the back, the proctor demanded that Pamilla call his parents.
"This whole situation was so ridiculously blown out of proportion that, instead of calling my parents as the proctor had said, I called my friend Dane." Pamilla, laughing about the phone call, became hysterical when "the proctor commented, 'You think you're a joker, don't you? You joker!'"
The incident soon grew to include the school counseling department and the administration. Later that evening, the Pamilla residence received a call from a counselor, upon instruction from the administration. The counselor felt that what Pamilla had done was rude and thought that there was a chance that his score would be cancelled. Pamilla argued that what the proctor did was rude and when he asked the counselor why his parents needed to be involved, the counselor "gave no real answer and just trailed off."
During Pamilla's second AP test, confusion about seating arrangements left him and the proctor at odds again. Senior Lindsay Spaulding recalls, "As the proctor walked away, Damien whispered, 'suckah.' Molly [Morgan] and I started cracking up, which, as a result, brought the proctor back to our table. The proctor asked, 'Did I just miss what you said?' Damien replied, 'Yes. I was just calling the guy at that table a suckah.'" It was at this point that the proctor made the comment about Pamilla supposedly getting his "ass kicked."
In addition to his confrontations with Pamilla, others had reports of the proctor's short temper and rudeness. During her AP Spanish test, Spaulding noted that the proctor became angry with her when she accidentally knocked her foot on something beneath the table, and later when her tape player wouldn't work. Moreover, the proctor called her a "huge distraction to the test" and threatened to kick her out.
Remarks Spaulding, "Ugh, he is such a freak. This guy was the meanest guy I've ever met. He would snap at everything, and didn't have any understanding of what it meant to be nice and patient. Here we are, a bunch of stressed out, overworked high school students taking AP tests that could possibly affect our future, and all he can do is yell and scream at us over the stupidest things."
Adds senior Molly Morgan, "He's a total jerk in there. This guy shouldn't even be around kids with his snap-in-a-second temper, especially kids about to take a big important test."
written by Anthony Darrouzet-Nardi and originally published in the June 8, 1999 issue of the Mountain View High School Oracle as "Testy test-giver hassles AP test-taker"