Monday, November 23, 2009

A Few Tidbits...

Okay, you probably are skeptical at this point that I'm actually posting something on my blog since I haven't in 4 months but I figure now is as good a time as any to get back on the wagon.

Newsflash! Pizza Hut has come to Panzhihua and that is where I'll be having Thanksgiving dinner next Friday (Thursday doesn't work well for me because I have class 8-12 on Friday and M has class until 10 pm on Thursday). Very exciting though!

The bane of my existence this semester has been grading homework for my English Business Communications course that I am teaching to a class of mostly disgruntled senior International Economics and Trade majors. Although it's a task that I avoid doing, I think a few good laughs always come out of it. Number one thing that makes me mad/makes me laugh is the rampant plagiarism that I come across (two students even managed to plagiarize incorrectly - they were supposed to write a dialogue where two people are negotiating the price for a product and they just happened to copy the same part of the dialogue and then hand it in thinking that they had each copied the opposite parts and then had no idea why I gave them a "low" but generous 70%). The second thing is the use of the translator. Oh boy. I don't even know where to get started with this one but I definitely enjoyed how the word "gourmet" kept on popping up in papers that had nothing to do with food or drink.

Here's some excerpts for your enjoyment (I think the people on mymomisafob should start a "mystudentisafob" website...although that doesn't work because they've never gotten on the boat but I say this stuff is just as good as the mymom and mydad stuff):

In a writing assignment to answer job interview questions:
Question: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
Answer: Imagine 5 years later you will see a successful trader. 10 years later, not only a successful trader but also a successful housewife you will see. I can do it.

I had asked students to answer the question "why should we hire you for this job?" and numerous (5+) students wrote on their paper "why should we fire you for this job." Ah yes, you have to understand the common Sichuan error of mixing up "h" and "f" (a la Claire - "I thought it was fupiqingjiao (for 2 years)!" in reference to "hupiqingjiao" aka tiger-skinned green pepper, a dish she would eat at least once a week). This time is was particularly clever and comical though. Also the "n" and "l" mistake..."oh lo! what fappened!" is a common chorus that M and I like to use.

A few more from job interviews...

Q: "Why should we hire you?"
A: "If you hire me you will get a machine rather than an employee." (I fail to see how that helps her case???)

Q: “What is one weakness you have?”
A: "Maybe I’m a little careless. But I will pay attention to that." (Ha, that one was a little clever humor that I don't think they intended that I got a kick out of)

Q: “Tell me about yourself.”
A: My motto is “never say die.” (I am having trouble imagining someone saying that seriously in a job interview yet that was one boy's response)

In resumes that the students wrote, I found their responses in the "Interests" section particularly enlightening and creative:

“I like to do many manual things very much.”
"My done the stars is very delicate" ($10 if someone can interpret that for me)
"Attending parties" (just what an employer wants to hear)

And in the "Interesting" section (apparently "Interests" were too plain-vanilla for this student): "playing the ping pong ball" :D

Under "Work Experience" and under the position of teacher a student noted “have tasted of teacher’s hard” (stop thinking those bad thoughts now!)

Under "Qualifications": "Have a passion for the Internet and an abundance of common sense." (what does that make you qualified for?)

I also had some fun with scripts that my sophomores turned in for their midterm plays so I will share a few excerpts from those as well:

"Such a good-shaped girl. I love your long hair, big eyes, and sex make-up. Give me reasons to conquer me." (If you can make sense of that $10 for you, I believe it was part of a play where someone was interviewing for an airline stewardess job)

"This story talks about some nature members want to have a party one day. But the party becomes a condem." (Hmm...this one was from a convoluted play about bunnies, trees, rivers and pollution)

Alrighty, hope that tides you guys over until I am inspired again in 4 months...or sooner perhaps. Happy Thanksgiving All! Gobble Gobble!