Edit: I've added to this post a day later- some stuff I forgot the time through and new, but equally boring, stuff from today.
I give midterm exams to all my students but most of my classes have a Korean co-teacher who gives the final. As a result, I only have three exams this week. Still, there have been some interesting answers.
First, what is the Korean phrase that translates to 'hard boiled'? A coworker commented on seeing it a few times in homework and yesterday, in the oral exam, a student told me she respected Helen Keller, partially because she was hard-boiled.
Part of the problem is I don't have a clear definition in my own head of what the phrase means. I thought it was something that only hard drinking '30s detectives could be.
On the exam, students were asked to, "Tell me about someone you respect other than your parents." We'd done this previously in class and as homework, and I knew I needed to add the 'not your parents' bit to avoid honest but trite responses.
The Confucian training was strong, however, as many students told me about their grandfathers. This was more than acceptable as I heard tales of great sacrifices made in conditions I have never experienced.
Edit: Five students - about a tenth- told me they don't respect anyone. Kids these days.
Anyway, one of them gave a well-reasoned answer, in good English, for his response. He is more interested in actions and results than in flattering others.
Anyway, exams are going well- for me, and for some of my students. I posted the questions online three weeks ago and some students told me they hadn't looked at them. I have to admit I don't feel so bad failing such students.
Edit: A coworker is just finishing his Masters and is now applying to start his Doctorate. I find it ironic that he is studying and thinking about complex symbols and metaphors in poetry and I find myself singing along with KwandongAlex's TV shows, "I'm Bori!...Bori, Bori!...I'm Bori! I'm curious!"
Another coworker described how her passion and enthusiasm were in danger of fading. I discussed this with her and she paid me the wonderful compliment of saying she was impressed with my passion for teaching. Thanks DonghaeJennifer and right back at ya! I certainly think you care and advocate for your students with energy and passion.
I promised a KOTESOL conference post and now the conference is six weeks gone. I will still review the material and my opinions but mostly as they relate to how I feel this year of teaching went and what my plans are for the next teaching year.