Hangul Love For the love of Korean
21 days ago I said I would be returning to regular posting soon. In that 21 days I’ve made exactly one post. ONE. This same exact degree of laziness befell me last year around this time as well. Maybe I should blame it on the season? Currently it is rainy season in Korea and when you wake up to the rain, work during the rain and go home in the rain, it doesn’t exactly inspire one to go home and study a foreign language for fun does it?
However, I am still making excuses, I admit. I am simply procrastinating. This time last year, I was stuck in the middle of my intermediate grammar book with no plans to on finishing it. I don’t remember how long this “phase” lasted, but I didn’t do anything involving Korean for about 3 months(?). Then around October a fire lit under my butt and I blew through the rest of my grammar book and lapped around for a victory dance.
Then I went to Japan.
I didn’t start preparing for the Topik specifically until the second weeks of January 2014. Somehow, despite all of my laziness, I managed to get to where I needed to be in most of the sections and pass the level 4. It just dawned on me as I sit here (doing nothing. really) that I didn’t actually spend a 1.5 years preparing for the Topik. If I added up all my “meh, I don’t want to do this” time for 2013 a total of about 7 months were spent actively studying Korean everyday.
Though I probably have an in-country advantage as well I suppose.
I was planning (lol, can we call it that?) on taking the Topik intermediate-advanced in 11 months or so, but as I look at the calender and recall all the wasted days, I truly wonder if I will be prepared for it in time. I look at my bookshelf and wonder when I’m going to take out that advanced grammar book and finish the grammar points leftover. To be honest, I’ve thought about it quite a few times, but I always make up some excuse not to.
“Tomorrow, I’ll start again”.
This is what I always do. It’s always kind of “worked” for me. Just winging it.
Oh how I wish that I was someone who could just stay on track.
p.s. I’m going to get off my lazy butt. You should see me and my “diet”. I’ve been going on a diet for like 3 months. It’s ridiculous.
It’s been two months. I got my TOPIK scores back and then fell off the planet Earth. I wanted so badly to start posting and making videos again, but I simply did not have the time. Sorry to all the people who kept checking my website to see if I’d come back.
I’m back now.
My hectic schedule has finally calmed down. I will finally be able to get back to studying some Korean. I haven’t opened my textbooks, or looked at a TOPIK test in 8 weeks. I will admit I’ve had some free time, but I wanted to rest considering I was helping build a hagwon for an entire month. Now I finally have the mental energy to start blogging again. I will probably upload at least ONE video for Class is in Session next week. So please stay tuned.
Oh, and I was so happy to see my Youtube channel was doing so well in my absence. I have nearly 1000 view and 21 subscribers. I know that’s not nearly as good as 99.9% of Youtubers, but I’m happy with it.
I’d don’t follow many websites, but one of my big annoyances is a site that doesn’t update often. If you’ve been following me here you will know that I always update something within one or two days. I’ve been on a up until receiving a news that my boss would opening a new English academy in an area near our current one. So, that’s what I’ve been doing. For the past 10 days we have been working non-stop to get this academy opened. Last night we were up until about 6am working on the kids room of our academy. We’re still nowhere close to done with that kids room. Good thing it won’t need in use until July first.
I have not only been helping with this, I’ve pretty much done everything besides pay. My boss is not very creative and I like to think I am so I got to choose the location (it was perfect when we walked in), the name, wallpaper color scheme, design the advertisements and change anything I wanted on the mock-up ads created by our designer, and even plan the layout of the children’s room. Have you ever cut out several hundred felt leaves, add velcro to them and them to a wall in order to make a tree? I have.Despite being really busy (I slept 2.5 hours last night) I’m really excited for the chance to work at this new academy because just the environment is different. I feel so lucky to have found such a good work environment in Korea.
So I have not forgotten about my blog, nor have I abandoned it. I should have a couple of posts coming soon in the next two weeks however things should be back to normal by July. Thanks for reading.
I was so upset about my grade. For like a whole 10 minutes. Once the feelings of disappointment started to fade, I started to get a clearer picture of my score.
I deserved the writing score I got.
I admit it. For some reason, I was under the (very false) impression that I’d studied for the Topik so much. That’s a lie. I studied like hell for the reading, drove myself crazy studying the listening, and spent countless hours studying the grammar/vocabulary section. If I had to put it on a percentage scale. I will say 30% went to reading, 30% went to listening, 30% went to grammar/vocabulary respectively. Which means only 10% of my time went into the writing portion. I can write quite well in Korean. I haven’t written a ton of essays but the ones that I do write don’t require very many corrections. However, I will say that I did not write the intermediate essay with much of the intermediate grammar. The reason for this is because even when I write most of the intermediate essays in English, I don’t feel like the topics are ever complex enough to warrant using more advanced grammar. I’m certain that took a lot of points out of my writing score.
However, I’m still happy I wrote it the way I did. Trying to add unnecessary grammar into a writing just to make it look intermediate is silly to me. The topics I’ve seen for the new intermediate/advanced test will require a lot of advanced grammar, but “Tell me about the best day of your life?”. You could probably write that well with nothing but beginner’s grammar and 3000 word under your belt. One thing I’ve never liked is how easy the intermediate exam topics were compared to the test. On the reading portion you have topics that seem like they are torn from a newspaper, and listening tracks ripped from a news broadcast and then on the writing they ask you what you like to do and why? I can’t get with that.
If not using enough intermediate grammar and vocabulary is what lowered the grade then so be it. I would probably do it the same. I’m stubborn like that.
I’ve also had time to really look at my other scores. I did disgustingly well on the reading section. For anyone who thinks my reading score is high, let me tell you it was my weakest skill just 5 months ago. In January, when I attempted a reading test I would literally get like 40% every single time. My vocabulary was so weak. I put so much into reading. I learned probably 2000-3000 new words in 5 months. I was shocked how easy the reading felt when I took the exam at the time. I understood every single passage and answer before me. I’m actually quite curious as to which 3-4 problems I got wrong on the reading. I’ll take the test later to determine which ones I got wrong and why.
I’m also a bit surprised at the listening score. The first time I took a listening test I got 40%. It was on par with reading. Even though I live in Korea and hear Korean every day, I sucked at solving many of the problems simply because I couldn’t hear them clearly and missed little nuances and changes throughout the conversation. However, when I took the test at the time, it too felt easy. However, since I got 25 points off, I probably again missed some of the nuances in the changes of the conversation because I can’t remember one listening track I didn’t fully understand.
Grammar and vocabulary doesn’t really surprise me. If you read my blog you will know I have a love affair especially with Korean grammar. I study it so much. I memorize it and creepily know which ones can sub out for other ones. Based on my score I’m assuming I got most of the “choose the incorrect/correct” problems right. Though I am curious as to which ones I got wrong.Curse you final idiom I didn’t know! Curse you to hell!
Overall it was pretty good. Most people who study Korean have low scores in reading, listening, and writing. I overcame my struggle with two. I’m glad I started doing reading and writing videos because this will force me to put more effort into writing, though I’m sure I will always prefer reading and grammar over writing essays.
I guess it’s on to the Topik intermediate-advanced.