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Author Topic: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.  (Read 902308 times)

donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5440 on: June 25, 2018, 08:13:58 AM »
Iíve discovered how menswear shops can get away with murderous prices for seemingly modest ajeossi polos: They double as athletic wear for your evening business-casual jogs.

Wear it with matching plastic-snap-buckle-belted *pleated* athleformal shorts (MSRP 250,000₩ 135,000₩) and youíre ready to hit the pavement as soon as you park the Equus.

Please never stop posting, waygook.org user donovan. You are the best poster.

#i❤internetaffection

 :-*Love you, man~

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5441 on: June 25, 2018, 08:47:24 AM »
There is no doubt they got together, and yes two of them made sure to change a bit to try and answer the question.  It is just the language though.  It isn't 'Papago' because generally that is riddled with crap.  All their mottos, were different.  'Given grateful shade as I was given' 'Do the best, no matter what outcomes come' 'You only live once' 'Don't put off the thing for today'.  Only one of those are actually relevant to free time.  When I was checking the essays, the first time I read, 'my motto...' I thought, ahhhh, that's cute.  Then the second one came and I was a little  :undecided: , then by the third, I was like  >:(

Okay, sorry, I was a little confused by what you meant before. They might have used a previous essay from a different year or that they found online, then searched for mottos to insert. The topic or subject of mottos is a pretty popular one in Korea in general, so there are a lot of resources for them to pull from. A lot of my middle school students will choose it as their topic for something they're supposed to write, but the language often comes out strange, like in your examples. It wouldn't surprise me if they'd used an old middle school book, lol.

For the essay evaluation, a week before I'll tell the students the main topic, which was 'Free Time' and then as I have six classes, they all have a different question on the day.  So I told them it could be holidays, hobbies or weekends.  What I saw from most students in their notebooks was three or four different essays that tried to answer the possible questions.  That is fine.  Writing is hard for students and it is usually hard for them to get an 'A' as there are always the 's's missing or 'the's strewn all over the place.  This time was no different.  I've done it this way for three years in my high school and it's been fine.  Like I mentioned earlier, I really like reading my students' writing and it is very interesting as it seems to be a release for them to write in English.

Tbf, I don't consider that beating the system but actually trying to properly prepare for or engage in it. It helps to think things through and to practice writing prior to the assignment or to display more than one thought during, especially for people who aren't used to it or if they'll be operating under a time constraint. If I'd found practice essays or more than one essay addressing different questions that they were given, I'd be proud, honestly. That's a lot of effort. But then I'm used to working with students who consider writing three sentences in one go as too much work.

Absolutely agree, it is just the system though.  If we were to try and change the system to make it more random, as in not telling the students a topic, then we'd get complaints as it goes completely against the Korean system, which as we know is seriously knacked.  For my speaking test, I have a list with ten questions, and the students pick chopsticks out of a cup with a number written on them, so it is their luck or not.  I remember at school, when I would ask what may come up in the test, we were just told the answers were somewhere between chapter 1 and chapter 10  :lipsrsealed: but usually we'd never ask as we knew we should just do all of it.  I think it's got a lot to do with the sheer volume that (especially high school students) have to study.  It is quantity over quality.  But then again, we all know that. 

Yeah, this is the part that gets to me the most, is that even when students are basically being given the answers for something super, super simple, many still feel the need to cheat and bullshit.

I'm not trying to trick the students or change the system, the test isn't even designed to discourage memorization. They just need to use it in a genuine effort to produce, and not as a means to play the system. They're given everything that they need to succeed, it doesn't require much effort at all. But a lot of students still blow it off and then expect to be rewarded for it.

Seriously, the speaking tests in middle school are a joke. I'm doing things their way but still have to field the blame when students don't perform as expected.

This isn't anything new or exclusive to English, I've read and heard enough horror stories from KTs in all subjects to know that it's just part of the job, but it's especially frustrating when dogs can recognize simple commands in English better than your students (who've supposedly been learning the material for months) can, and then they tell you that the problem isn't with the students' abilities but with your grading standards.

I'm at a point where I'm going to start having coTs who are still giving me shit about it sit with me during the exams.

Quote
It is possible.  My students try really hard and honest.  Even on this occasion, this was their first writing evaluation as they are level 1 students, so maybe they didn't 'realise' so we'll proceed carefully.  My co-t will talk to them today and see what they say.

If your coT is ever able to get to the bottom of it, reveal their secret to me.
« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 10:18:02 AM by Chinguetti »

Offline alexisalex

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5442 on: June 25, 2018, 09:40:59 AM »
Is there anything more depressing than browsing the classifieds on Koreabridge?

Equal parts disgust and morbid curiosity when looking at the state of people's homes/personal belongings  :huh:

Online CO2

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5443 on: June 25, 2018, 10:25:02 AM »
This isn't anything new or exclusive to English, I've read and heard enough horror stories from KTs in all subjects to know that it's just part of the job, but it's especially frustrating when dogs can recognize simple commands in English better than your students (who've supposedly been learning the material for months) can, and then they tell you that the problem isn't with the students' abilities but with your grading standards.

Goddamn, that's savage and so true.
The joys of fauxtherhood

Online JVPrice

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5444 on: June 25, 2018, 10:30:07 AM »
Getting rather burned out with all this talk of pointless speaking tests and cheating students. I also just learned last Friday that it's illegal to fail students. There's almost no purpose, huh?
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Offline alexisalex

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5445 on: June 25, 2018, 10:35:02 AM »
Yeah I don't know how you guys all stay motivated.

I feel like this is all a huge waste of time  :sad:

Offline kyndo

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5446 on: June 25, 2018, 10:43:12 AM »
Getting rather burned out with all this talk of pointless speaking tests and cheating students. I also just learned last Friday that it's illegal to fail students. There's almost no purpose, huh?
It bothers me less when I mentally adjust my internal grading schema: anything under a 70 is a fail, 70-85 is a C, 85-95 is a B, and 95+ is an A.  :undecided:

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5447 on: June 25, 2018, 11:06:00 AM »
Well, there are the good students, and despite how much I hate the speaking tests themselves as they're kind of symptomatic of larger issues, I actually do enjoy interacting with the students on a day-to-day basis. Having a good relationship with them usually improves student attitudes over English in general. Most of them still hate studying it, but they come to learn to like playing with it, and it increases their confidence levels. For the right students, this can even provide a huge boost in their motivation to learn English more seriously. Even students that start off terrified of speaking English at all normally end up feeling comfortable enough to experiment with it by the end of the school year. This is what I get out of it.

The speaking tests are only two weeks out of every semester that I've got to worry about. It's just a small smear.

As for not failing students, their motivation is supposed to come from their entrances into certain high schools and colleges. While they may get to graduate, they will not get accepted into the schools of their choices if their grades aren't up to par, which is a big deal here in Korea because it can make or break your career path.

Offline #basedcowboyshirt

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5448 on: June 25, 2018, 11:44:11 AM »
Regarding not failing students, etc:

It's dumb, but it's just one symptom of a much bigger problem here: forced egalitarianism.

There are a lot of examples that are tangentially related. For example, senior citizens ride public transit for free. All senior citizens. Whether they're a multimillionaire or someone who picks up cardboard all day to support themselves, they all get this benefit. There is absolutely no reason that affluent people need to be provided with free public transit after a certain age, but everyone has to be equal.

Recently an allowance was introduced for all parents with children under five years old to receive 100,000 won monthly, in an effort to increase the birthrate. Again, independent of that family's income bracket, everyone receives it. Again, there are a lot of compelling practical arguments against providing people who are already wealthy with the same allowance as families or parents who are struggling financially. But, everyone has to be equal.

So, it brings us to school. Unlike western countries, where students can (I'm sure there are exceptions) move ahead or be held back according to their performance and ability level in school. But if that was tried here, the cries of 'unfair!' would be too many to manage, because everyone needs to be equal.


Obviously I'm really oversimplifying all of this. But there's a very strong "well if I can't have it, they can't have it" mentality, which is covered up by very superficial 'we're all a big family, Korea!' veneer.

Online Mister Tim

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5449 on: June 25, 2018, 11:55:26 AM »
Well that was... interesting.

I went to my classroom, turned on the projector, plugged it into my laptop, but then rather than seeing my laptop on the screen, we were treated to the CCTV feed from one of the admin offices.  :laugh:

Apparently some people are here today installing a new system of some sort, and in the process it seems they mixed up some of the wires & connections running through the ceiling. We got the CCTV feed, and presumably the security office got a nice view of this week's listening activity. It was pretty funny in retrospect, but it seemed less funny at the time, since the result was I had to teach the entire class without video (so long, multimedia presentation I worked so hard on yesterday!).

It really makes me wonder why these maintenance things always happen during school hours. There have been many other times in the past where maintenance workers come in as I'm teaching a class and carry on with their business. I asked a KT why they don't just have that maintenance done after school hours or on weekends, and was just told "the workers don't want to do it then."

Okay.

Offline kyndo

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5450 on: June 25, 2018, 11:58:27 AM »
Recently an allowance was introduced for all parents with children under five years old to receive 100,000 won monthly, in an effort to increase the birthrate. Again, independent of that family's income bracket, everyone receives it. Again, there are a lot of compelling practical arguments against providing people who are already wealthy with the same allowance as families or parents who are struggling financially. But, everyone has to be equal.
You're assuming that the Korean government is doing this as some sort of child-rearing subsidy. I don't feel that this is the case. I think it's an out-and-out bribe to encourage folk to crank out more babies. Want 500k? Show us a baby. They don't care if you're rich or poor: they just want more Koreans that will be able to pay taxes in 20 years so that they (the politicos) don't have to worry about their pensions getting axed.

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5451 on: June 25, 2018, 11:59:46 AM »

It really makes me wonder why these maintenance things always happen during school hours. There have been many other times in the past where maintenance workers come in as I'm teaching a class and carry on with their business. I asked a KT why they don't just have that maintenance done after school hours or on weekends, and was just told "the workers don't want to do it then."

Okay.

It's like the people that have jobs don't ever want to do them
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Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5452 on: June 25, 2018, 12:15:02 PM »
The system isn't good, but if you don't agree that all studying should end in a test then you can teach students interesting things that they will remember and you find interesting to teach.  You also take your little victories where you get them.  Whether you're not allowed to by crappy co-ts, or students think they're wasting their time, is another thing.  But them's the challenges, I suppose. 

I just count my blessings that my current coTs are okay for the most part. A couple of them just lose their sanity during this period, and it drives me crazy.

What topics have you taught that are kind of atypical but that students really seem to latch onto?

Picking your brain for new ideas for camp.

Quote
My co-teacher talked with the students and they said it was their hagwon teacher who gave them a kind of template for this essay, so they could change little bits to answer the question.   :rolleyes: Firstly, what a div.  Whoever told them, used some really stupid phrases, and ones that anyone looking at it could tell they were not the students original ideas.  I'm going to go over it again and then we'll decide what score to give.

So did the students not "realize" what they did wrong, or were they aware but just thought that they could get away with it, lol?

Offline Kayos

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5453 on: June 25, 2018, 12:20:29 PM »
I'm doing speaking tests this week myself. Today's are over, and only 1 student is challenging my grade. I explained with my co-T nearby, that he has the ability to get an A, but I had to put him down as a B, as he only gave shortened answers. He was nervous, and when he went for longer answers, he'd freak out and stop.
I mentioned, if he relaxes a bit, he'll definitely be able to reach the "A" next time.
2 of the students, thought they would get a low mark, but got a high mark. They pushed through their nervousness and gave me good answers.
The rest got what they thought they'd get.

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5454 on: June 25, 2018, 01:20:33 PM »
Just finished my last round for the day. Marked improvement from what I left off with last week. Hope it's a good sign for the rest of this week.

Online Chinguetti

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5455 on: June 25, 2018, 02:04:46 PM »
What topics have you taught that are kind of atypical but that students really seem to latch onto?

Picking your brain for new ideas for camp.

What level are you teaching?

[...]

Cooking class?

Middle school, and my current school has a decent-ish budget, so there's always a cooking class. xD I've got that mostly decided already, but I'm open to new ideas.

I was thinking about making one of the classes a science class, but I'm still undecided. I thought maybe balsa wood bridges but wasn't sure if I could find bridge kits here, even online  (I know that people have used things like paper and spaghetti, but I really want actual balsa wood).

Might try the balloon car, thing, though... or maybe even do a catapult competition, see which team can Macgyver the best one out of the materials I give them.

I like the greetings idea, too. Geography really isn't a strong suit for my most of my students, but I could do a thing where I introduce them to countries and their capitals. That way they can use some recall to help answer a game based on it.

Offline Pennypie

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5456 on: June 25, 2018, 02:52:50 PM »

20 days left of term. The last 20 days of my Korean teaching career. Every day I'm losing the last fucks I was managing to scrape together.

Offline alexisalex

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5457 on: June 25, 2018, 03:14:53 PM »

20 days left of term. The last 20 days of my Korean teaching career. Every day I'm losing the last fucks I was managing to scrape together.

Congrats!

It must feel incredibly liberating knowing that the end is in sight.  I don't think I'd be able to wipe the grin off my face.

Are you putting any effort into your final classes?  I wouldn't  :laugh:

Online JNM

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5458 on: June 25, 2018, 04:19:45 PM »
On the Hyundai cars, why when the 'fuel left in kilometres' gauge reaches '50kms left', it goes blank like this '--'?  Surely, that's when you need it most.

It isn't just Hyundai.  They all to that.

They don't count to the bottom because the number us an estimate based on the last (???) km driven. If you drive mostly highway, and you are city-driving those last 50 might be closer to 20!

I read <---> as "you are on your own, buddy!"

donovan

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Re: A thread for pointless Friday ramblings.
« Reply #5459 on: June 25, 2018, 06:42:17 PM »
On the Hyundai cars, why when the 'fuel left in kilometres' gauge reaches '50kms left', it goes blank like this '--'?  Surely, that's when you need it most.

It isn't just Hyundai.  They all to that.

They don't count to the bottom because the number us an estimate based on the last (???) km driven. If you drive mostly highway, and you are city-driving those last 50 might be closer to 20!

I read <---> as "you are on your own, buddy!"

Right, I imagine they donít want to be blamed if your car putters out on the highway because you thought you could make it another 10 km to the next pumping station.