Trip Down Memory Lane / GAH!
Do if you remember these horrible things? Rubik's Cubes. I had one. I'm sure you did too, especially if you were a kid or teen in the 80's, like I was.
I remember mine well. The sense of achievement each time I completed a side. The problem was that I rarely managed to complete more than one side before giving up. I give up easily. It also didn't take long to realise the only way to complete it (as far as I was concerned anyway) was by cheating, which meant either peeling off the stickers or trying to pull apart and put the whole thing back together.
I don't know what happened to my cube.
I also had a Rubik's Snake thing which had to be constructed into a ball. That was too easy and swinging it around seemed more interesting, I seem to remember.
Anyway, they seem to have made a bit of a comeback in Japan. I don't know if this is the case elsewhere, or if, in fact, they never disappeared from Japan to start with, but I've been seeing them in the shops a LOT recently and this evening, on the train, I was watching a kid with her cube, diligently twisting away. She didn't seem to be getting anywhere. I wanted to tell her removing the stickers was easier but I guess that would have been admitting defeat. Not a very Japanese quality...
They'll all be walking around singing Duran Duran next...
Most of the teachers I know don't give written homework to students. They're sensible. I give it because I think it's important to see what they cannot do. It's a stressful process for me though.
Example One - from last week - and this is SO bad I'm reproducing in it verbatim and with punctuation and structure as is [italics are mine]. I read it and groaned. I don't want to be discouraging but GACK! And this is from a high level student:
Weather has been so shitty, and it is not like summer weather yet, as far as I remembered,
the temperature was higher in the last month??
In this month, the temperature has not been high, however, in my workplace; we start to
use air conditioner to
Stay some exact temperature, which is great, considering people, making people
Comfortable use library. I have been sick because of that. My desk is computer room,
inducing a lot of computer equipment and our few servers at library, my computer's order,
staying colder, I do not know how much temperature he decided on, it has been so cool
inside my room. As a result, I have been not feeling well without any reasons, I had to
bring winter clothes to stay warm in my room to work.
This week, my computer boss, has got few more fans, well, it has been rather colder than
Before.......... he is worried about crashing our servers, few months ago, our servers
were crashed due to temperature, I mean burning some computer equipment.
I do not like to use air conditioner always, these days after I stay cold room and stay with
air conditioner, my body always needs it, I realize
As a result, I always start using air conditioner without high temperature at home
My body temperature might be changed.
Anyway, you can see the problems this is causing me. And the resistance to the temptation to rewrite the essay for the student in summary form: 'my boss' fucking around with the aircon and forcing us to sit in Arctic conditions has led to my body fucking up, and therefore I'm fucked off.'
Somehow I don't think that'd go down too well though.
Example Two, also from last week, and this time from a lowish intermediate student (remember we are basically teaching spoken English NOT writing skills, so I take no responsibility for the inability of my students to put a logical sentence together). This time, and like the above piece, the student took it off her own back to write this. I often just encourage my students to write 'something' - which they do.
This student picked four pictures from a catalogue and decided to translate the Japanese being used to sell the objects.
For the first picture ,of a couple of brightly coloured water bottle/flask things, the student wrote:
It is nice looks keep cooling bottle, made in U.S.A.
We need cool beverage for summer leisure activities. It can keep beverage cool and design coulor, price every thing is good one.
For the second picture, of a couple of hideous looking rings, which I'm guessing from her description to maybe be toe rings, although it's really hard to say:
It is the season for flourishing summer sandals, we want it.
This design is same as ring and necklace.
It will dress your glancing foot from sandals.
For the next picture, of three toilet rolls (one red, one tangerine orange and one pale lime green), she wrote:
Toiletroll purveyor to Europe celeblity landing Japan.
The roll is three sheets of peper
It's for celeb' specification.
And for the final picture, of a plastic umbrella with a lace-effect design:
It became so cute even if vinyl umbrella.
It is lace painted vinyl umbrella for recommending shopping in raining day.
Let's graduate from cheep vinyl umbrella.
See what I have to put up with?!