Friday, December 08, 2006

Again, I'm fine, just...

...lazy, grumpy and having trouble with my computer and the internet connection.

Before I start whining, let me talk about errors. I can (and frequently do) make typos like this, "an dthe ansert is..." Here, we see a space in the middle of the word 'and' and 'ert' instead of 'wer' in answer. The first error is from over-fast typing and the 'ert' is next to the 'wer' so it is the result of sloppy typing. Both are the result of sloppy proofreading. The point is, they are purely typing errors. It is hard to imagine handwriting those errors (actually, my handwriting is bad enough that one might mistake my 'r' for a 't'). No one thinks I think 'answer' is spelled with 'ert' - the error is diagnostic as a typo.

Here is an interesting set of answers a first year student gave me on his final exam:

Write the time as words ('1' as one, '2' as two...)
Morning 8:25 -Sleep it is a pine nut from the house.
Evening 5:40 - Study new all from the library

How's the weather today?The wind swells up today

Tell me three things you did yesterday.
Yesterday, the girlfriend and the rice the in budae chigae.

The answers are wrong but interestingly wrong. It is the way they are wrong that seems diagnostic. My student's errors seem diagnostic of an internet translator -and of misunderstanding my questions, but the two aren't exclusive. I watched the class fairly closely; I don't think he could have used a translator on his phone. Still, this is why I don't worry that much about cheating on exams. I have not yet found a cheater who had answers better than expected compared to classwork.

Time to begin whining.
I have mentioned before that I need to upgrade the security on my computer. When I was no longer able to connect to the internet, I blamed the computer first. Now that it works from a work connection, I am relieved of that worry. On the other hand, a new program icon appeared on the screen a few days ago. It is (English words in Korean) 'Vaccine Plus'. It automatically starts upon starting the computer and neither my wife nor I downloaded it. I'm worried but I need the computer to work until I enter all my student grades, then I have a few months to try to solve the problem.

Second, my mother-in-law is visiting. She is one of the kindest people I have met but she does things old-school. Korean old school. The most obvious example of this (and the one I am most comfortable sharing) is the sudden appearance of many basins of water around the apartment. What is the fascination of older Koreans with basins of water?
I am glad she is spending time with her grandson but this joy is tempered every time I find my cheese sitting in a cupboard to make room for an open glass of unnamed liquid in the fridge. Perhaps I will do more housework so things are prepared my way. Jeez, I now need a new excuse not to do housework.


Nathan B. said...

Brian, that last comment had me in stitches--and I completely identify!

Anonymous said...

It sounds horrible to say, but it is lucky that my mother-in-law gets terribly carsick and cannot visit our place. Remember, you have a refuge here in Gangneung should the stress become too much.

Masan Mark said...

keep a close eye on that icon - it's the one i suspect of trashing my Korean XP. lots of freezing up after starts..., and really hard to get rid of.. let me know if you figure it out.