Thursday, February 17, 2005

unstable blogging

UPDATE: The excursion to the educational publishing company was interesting. A mostly-female staff (hmmmm... or should I say "mmmmm"?), a library-quiet atmosphere, and almost as many computer terminals as a PC-bahng. The "screening" was today; I won't know the results for a few days, and then I'll be called in for an interview if I make the cut.

What I wrote earlier about the screening procedure wasn't entirely correct. It went down like this-- I was given a bit over two hours to do the following:

1. Create a TOEFL reading comprehension passage, plus 10 accompanying questions, with the passage and questions in the style of the TOEFL test.

2. Answer a TOEFL essay question as if I were a student taking the exam. I imagine this was to gauge my writing ability.

Exercise (1) was probably a test of how well I understood the structure and philosophy of TOEFL reading passages and questions. I'm confident I did pretty well; TOEFL reading comp questions are fourfold multiple choice and follow the standard template known to testers everywhere: one answer is correct, one answer is obviously wrong, and two answers lie somewhere in the middle, but are easily seen as wrong upon reflection.

We were allowed to use internet resources to write the reading passage for (1), but picking a subject was damn hard. I chose, at long last, to write about octopi, a subject that fascinated me as a kid. Using a bit of Wikipedia, a bit of, and some Merriam Webster, I crafted what I think was a fairly textbookish-sounding bit of prose. I hope my multiple choice questions weren't too off the wall. I tried to avoid outrageous options, so there were no questions like:

The following cannot be inferred from the preceding passage:
a. Octopi have short lifespans compared to human beings.
b. Many octopi can hide in small crevices due to their flexibility.
c. The beak of the octopus can pierce a crab's shell.
d. Octopi have been known to travel far inland in their quest for tittie bars.

Results will come in a few days. Keep those tentacles crossed.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know I'm about to hit a transitional period. I'm currently looking at two possible jobs: one at a university down in Pusan, a city about which I know next to nothing, and one at an educational publishing company here in Seoul, a city I've known for four years.

Tomorrow morning, I'm up bright and early to visit the publishing company. They're asking prospective employees to take a modified TOEFL exam and to write an essay as part of their screening procedure. I'm happy to do this, but it means I've got to get to bed right after this post, which sucks.

I'm also getting up early because I have to visit the train station: I never got that Pusan ticket the other day, and I tried again tonight, to no avail.

I need to start packing my shit into boxes and to make other arrangements, all of which means that blogging will be more inconsistent than usual. More news as it happens. I'm looking forward to my Sunday trip down to Pusan to see the campus & the ridiculously huge accommodations I've been told about. (Or to find out it's all a sham! Am trying to shop carefully this time. We'll see.)


No comments: