Sunday, December 05, 2010

Back to School

Today I return to school, just a few years after I was last a student ;). I figured since I'm living in Korea, I might as well learn some Korean, so I signed up for classes at a local university known for good language programs.

Last Saturday morning, I went to the university on two hours sleep and a mocha for a placement test. There's only one test for all the levels, and it gets progressively harder as you go through it. You know that recurring nightmare where you show up for the final exam, and it's for a completely different topic than you thought it was going to be, or you accidentally forgot to go to class the entire semester? I learned on Saturday that it wasn't a nightmare at all, but actually a training run for this test. Imagine taking an exam where you can't read any of the instructions. And you can only understand a smattering of words on the page. That was this test.

In actuality, it was kinda fun, and was a pretty good exercise in time management and test taking. I've taken enough standardized tests that I was able to guess what to do on most of the sections. Then when I got to the reading comprehension, I didn't understand enough to make any sense of it beyond a pure guess, and I was burning through valuable time, so I just skipped it and went to the essay section, at which point I realized I had never written more than sentence fragments in Korean. Ah well. The first essay was pretty much, "Introduce yourself. Talk about your family, job, hobbies, etc." The second I think had something to do with Hyundai building a computer, and you were supposed to write a screenplay about it, but I'm pretty sure I misunderstood, so I just left that one blank. My Korean's more at the level of, "I'm cold - can I have some more kimchi?", rather than writing intelligent screenplays about Korean computers (Yeah, I most likely misunderstood the thrust of that question =P). Will find out in a couple hours what level I placed into. I'm hoping it's not the lowest level, but I'm not holding my breath.

I still don't know exactly what I'm doing here, but learning Korean certainly can't hurt. Might be time to revive the Triple Lindy as well. Welcome back to school!

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