ShenaniTims Vs. Anki: Round 45

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One of the advantages of having two Korean classes weekly is that if one of those classes goes to shit, there’s always a chance that the other will pull through. Hell, judging from past experiences here, I’d say there’s a more than likely chance that the next class will pull through.

The short note(s): after a bad class, I tend to be in an incredibly foul mood. But rather than turn me off to Korean, it just lights a fire under my own ass. (“I don’t need a teacher!,” I think, as I purchase way too many supplemental Korean learning materials (books on idioms, sentence structure, etc.) This (albiet) tiny bit of self-affirmation allows me to return the next week fully prepared to make the “bad” teacher do what I want the next week. This has worked out in the past, it worked out yesterday, so I’m confident in believing that this is now a “thing.”

This week was essentially a tale of three classes though. The first one (or the first fifth of the first one) went as usual. With the Level 4 group working on things outside of my understanding, but workable, since they’d actually explain it to me. It ended as a sad outtake to “the Monkey’s Paw” though.

See, I arrived to class later than usual. So I missed the preliminary easy talk about what you did over the holiday, blahblahbah. Unlike normal conversation though, in a language class such small talk isn’t immediately bullshit. It has a purpose. It gets your brain thinking in the foreign language. A warm-up, if you will. Unfortunately I missed that this week, meaning I was jumping right into stuff too advanced for my meager mind. All I could think was, I wish this would slow down.

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And BAM! it did. Oh, how it did. So my teacher is going to be absent next week, so they brought in a replacement. Since my level and my partner’s level aren’t the same, they figured they’d give the new guy a chance to warm-up his teaching chops on me. What a disaster that would turn out to be.

Now see, a couple weeks back when I started the Level Two book, that was more just for testing purposes. It was determined that my vocabulary is a lot more advanced than that book, but the reading still gave me issues. Which is why the majority of that class was spent covering the sentences, with me using my vocabulary to answer the questions using the present, past, and future tenses.

My biggest weakness, vocabulary-wise, was me not knowing 20-90 Korean numbers. The reason for this is because Korea has two number systems: Korean and Chinese. They (generally) use Korean for small numbers: 1-10, and revert to the Chinese systems for anything past that. Since the Korean won is based on 1000s (₩1000~$1.00), you won’t hear Korean numbers too often. They’re easy to ignore.

Unfortunately the new teacher wasn’t having any of that. These words were put in this book for a reason, he seemed to think, and I was going to review all of them whether I had learned them or not! Thus began (possibly) the longest hour and a half of my life. (Or one of the longest hour and a half stretches of my life.)

I should’ve known things would be bad when he sat next to me (never a good sign). People who know me know that even my close friends and relatives usually give me a head’s up before hugging me. They know that I’m just not that cool with bodily contact. Yet the new guy kept touching me; no matter how uncomfortable I looked.

Making matters worse was the fact that this shit was too basic. No matter how often I told him. Or in what language I told him in.

“하늘 is the sky.”

“I know.”

“You know? 하늘 is the sky.”

“What the hell? I know. “알았어요” (I know that in Korean).

“You know? 하늘 is the sky.”

(Thinking that maybe if I use it in a sentence he’ll move on) “하늘이 푸른색 이에요” (The sky is blue).  Quickly followed up with “하늘색” (skyblue).

“하늘 is the sky. You understand?”

“Yes.”

“하늘 is the sky.”

And on it went, for the rest of the pages’ twenty-odd (beginner) vocabulary words. I wouldn’t even stay for the dinner the church gives after the class. I thanked my teacher (dman my politeness!) and bolted. (Granted, by the end he knew he had fucked up too. After an hour plus of my body sending the same message, he eventually realized that he had done something wtong. Which then made me feel bad. But not bad enough to stay.)

Which brought us to Sunday’s class. One were I only brought the church’s book, in order to push through all the beginner words/lessons. Force their hand, as it were, leaving them no choice but to advance me by next week. (Sunday’s teacher knew I knew these words, so we went back to doing what we do so well; using them as examples from which to base new question and answer sequences from.

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Anki-wise I’m still looking to add a few new vobulary words daily, and I finally made the move to increase my daily total review count from 100 to 126. Though I might head back and bump it up again to 137. Which brings my daily total (in terms of minutes) from ~27 to around 40. Which doesn’t seem like that bad of an expenditure when you’re learning a new language. I think I can spare those minutes each day.

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