Monthly Archives: September 2013

Changes in Standard TOPIK

News about the rumoured changes to the TOPIK posted by Korean Vitamin. I’m not sure I see the wisdom of putting intermediate and advanced students together. Let’s see if they go through with it.


Just gained time

This weekend I have just gained 12 hours ny not having to do something I initially planned. That means extra time for Korean 🙂

I might have to spice it up with some extra maths (I’m doing pretty well on the law readings, but I don’t even dare think of what would happen if falling behind in econometrics), but this is going to be a good “Korean-week”.

What I’ve done already:
– I’ve progressed with TTMIK
– Listened to an audiobook from TTMIK
– Written a bit in Korean over KakaoTalk

As for the group work, I have e-mailed my group and asked if they would like to meet. I figured that rather than being grumpy I might as well be a bit proactive and try to get it to work. And who knows, maybe they are even nice people… One person I couldn’t locate and another shared first name and last name with few too many for me to dare and guess an e-mail in the uni e-mail adress book.
So far one person has responded. One. In two days.

Threat to my completely packed schedule: group work

Second day of uni yesterday. They allocated us into study groups and I have very mixed feelings about this. Mostly I just feel they are wasting my time.

For some things it makes sense to have a group, for others it does not. How they have composed the groups is another thing entirely.

Of course I would like to get to know the people in my new class.

Actually finding out who they are:
How the heck am I going to find out who these people are when all I have is a list allocating groups based on last name? Facebook stalk them? Wouldn’t it make more sense to tell people to look around, find three people in the vicinity of where they are sitting, and exchange names and numbers? You know their faces and there is a certain degree of self-selection in that those who care tend to sit in the front half of the auditorium and the slackers/perma-late people tend to hide in the back. Everybody’s happy. Or at least more happy than if they don’t know who their group mates are.

The kind of deliverables
They expect us to allocate work between 11 people??? This is going to get particularly ‘interesting’ for the econometrics hand-ins. You don’t do maths ‘together’. You can discuss verdicts together, you can test each other’s knowledge in a group. You can sit together and each do the assignment and help each other out if there is something that you feel unsure of, but what is likely to happen is that 2-3 people who understand how the numbers work do their thing and the rest look on and put their names on the paper. If the case is difficult it won’t get easier by gathering more people around the table since not everyone will actually get to do something, which in turn will not help at the exam.

It takes too much time
Having a group of 11 people means that you need to coordinate calendars of 11 people. On a weekly basis. You need to hear the opinions of 11 people. Just finding a time when everybody can meet will likely take longer than actually writing the paper.

Maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy… I really don’t mind reading a lot or doing assignments or having to work with somebody else, but please don’t create a set-up that lets group work invade my life. It takes time from other things. Such as actually getting stuff done so I can study Korean!