And now for a very rare horticulture rant.
I had to take a test the other day so I can proclaim that the State of Alabama officially sanctions me to do my job. Apparently my degree from a land-grant state university isn’t enough, but I’ll not argue that point.
I will say, however, that I am not a fan of True/False questions. They’re too absolute for my taste and I always find myself second-guessing myself on every question. The situation is made worse with a poorly-written test. “such-and-so is a CRITICAL FACTOR when doing such-and-so” is a horrible sentence for a true/false statement.
“Critical factor” is an opinion. It’s a critical factor that true/false scenarios are less relied on in a testing environment . . . it’s a critical factor that privet is never considered in the horticultural industry except as a weed . . . it’s a critical factor that the person who wrote this test needs to go back and get their education degree . . . but other people might disagree. See? How can that phrase be used in a true/false statement?
The rest of the test was multiple choice. I can handle that style of question better but there were still some vague problems. I found myself not thinking of the answer as much as trying to decide between what I thought and the answer that I thought they were looking for.
For example, one question asked about plants in hedges. Which plant would be the least likely choice to use in a formal, sheared hedge: carissa holly, dwarf boxwood, dwarf yaupon, privet, or ‘all are very suitable.’
My thinking goes like: I don’t like privet, and long-term dwarf yaupon can look more like just sticks, and carissa holly has bigger leaves so you can see where it’s been sheared so the only one I’d really, really use is boxwood but THAT’S NOT THE QUESTION, IS IT? So I have to bite my tongue, smile and select, ‘oh yes, they’re all very lovely plants; very suitable,’ because I THINK that’s the answer they want.
I hate privet.
If I fail I have a bone to pick w/ the author of that test.