Friday, July 6, 2012

It is really Summer vacation now! Hooray!

The first day of the break we declared a marking free zone and cooked up a “no curry today” dinner to celebrate Ian’s birthday, which he just happens to share with none other than Guru Rimpoche himself!! We invited every BCFer in the east but understandably many were unable to escape on day one and the rigors of exam marking and landslides blocking the roads forced them to send apologies. We did however have a fun time with those who could make it and the western style food went down a treat.

Given that the marking process is now complete and it took a grueling 80+ hours, I can gladly say that the worst time of the term for me is now over! Mid terms, unlike finals actually go back into the hands of students so I like to keep track of common errors and analyse the results “class-wise” to make the most of the experience in terms of improving students’ outcomes. I also expect students to analyse their own scores and I will discuss them with each student individually in week 1 before the regular marking routine takes over. Last year I actually corrected all the essays and short stories but this time I opted for merely marking the errors and dividing them into the criteria on which the scores were based: punctuation, grammar, spelling, expression, style and content. This shaved a massive 25 hours off the marking time for me and I figure those precious few who will want to know the precise errors and corrections will ask and the vast majority like students all over the globe will look at the score and leave it at that.

In addition to the focus on writing skills, for my own amusement I record some of the more humorous statements and spellings on the exam papers. As the time wears on the desire to complete the process takes over and less and less are recorded but here are a few that took my fancy early in the piece.

“….after many requestisations”

“Although he is good in study even day by day he is drepproving”

“their healthy will be healthy,” which so nicely accompanies “should be practically practice it,” by the same student.

“The door of his room was knoccing”

“Starting from small insects and up to humane beings go in pursuit of weathy, comforts and enjoyments which causes their lives sufferings”

“We the educated people strongly say that it is going toward left field.”

“…we with a sealy reason are frighting”

“I conclude by saying / praying to be our motherworld as the ‘English Popular Zone!’”

“I understood that ‘as we saw so shall we weep.’”

“ he was habituated in the using of drugs”

“…but one thing is that he can’t is misplaced his parents”

“It was his thinking in his mind”

“ I use simbolic language when I communicate with dump and dafe”

“ Before he was brilliant and brave and all this is lost and his life is in a miserable”

“At last he found that it was unrequired love but his love was on process”

In the few days since the horror ended, we have started our preparations for the hike to Sakteng. Ian got the ball rolling and applied for route permits for us on Monday while my nose was still firmly buried in papers. Just half an hour ago we were called by the DEO himself and told that the permits are now ready in Trashigang!! Up until then we didn’t realize that we would actually have to have paper copies as in the past when we have applied for these types of permits, the approval has gone through official channels without us even knowing anything about whether it has been approved or not. We are hoping that they will be faxed to the local post office as we have already made one trip to T/gang this week. We have also prepared lots of food for the 2 days on the trail and although we were initially told that we would have to carry supplies for all the rest of the time as well, as no food would be available once we arrived, it has now been amended to being possible for us to get rice and emadaste there! If not we will survive on “Maggi” the local term for instant noodles, which are always available. Time will tell. 2 friends have pulled out which we are very sorry about. Scott in particular, called in sick yesterday and we will sorely miss his company and good humor. The heavy rain yesterday and more today has me somewhat concerned about the condition of the trail but at least it is a distraction from the worry about leeches. There have been various communication issues with the driver/guide but Tim and we, are set to take off at 0700hours tomorrow morning. Currently the bed is scattered with possible clothing items and the usual collection of chargers and the ironing board has become the resting place of supplies and edible items. Somehow they all have to fit into 2 daypacks and we will strap on sleeping bags and hope that we are up for challenge. With a bit of luck and a fair wind the next blog may have some beautiful Brokpa people and the scenery of Sakteng.

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