Sunday, December 14, 2008

Those crazy kids

This weekend was a whirlwind 48-hour grading extravaganza. My university demands that we grading all exams and calculate final grades within 48 hours of the end of the exam time slot. Since my students' exam was on Friday, I get a slight extension, having until tomorrow morning technically. (This all stems from when we were still using hand-written, scantron bubble sheets to submit final grades. Obviously you couldn't physically hand in grades on the weekend, since all of the university offices are closed. This was, oh, two academic years ago? Yeah, not really in the 21st century yet.)

A few times I broke out into song, thanks to Lerner and Loewe - "Why can't the English teach their children how to speak? Norwegians speak Norwegian, and Greeks are taught their Greek. In France, every Frenchman knows his language from 'A' to 'Zed'.... Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning. And Hebrews learn it backwards which is absolutely frightening. But use proper English you're regarded as a freak. Oh why can't the English, why can't the English learn to speak?"

So, in honor of 'Enry 'Iggins and his lamentations regarding the non-usage of the English language among native speakers, here are some funnies gleaned from my 2 days of marathon grading:

Students know absolutely no geography. Here are some of my favorite labels from their map quiz.

1. The Black Sea - labeled variously as Montenegro, Slovakia, Lithuania, Macedonia, and Serbia. In my sleepy head, I can only assume that these sea-based states are either the mythical Atlantians or else are canoe-based societies.
2. The Adriatic Sea - labeled as Croatia and Serbia
3. The North Sea - is the Czech Republic
4. Germany - is actually Montenegro
5. France - is either Bosnia or Macedonia, depending on who you ask. These just make me sad. :-(
6. Ukraine - is Bosnia, Serbia, or Macedonia
7. Belgium - is actually Lithuania
8. Denmark - is Croatia
9. Poland - is either Czech Republic, Lithuania, or Slovakia
10. Switzerland - is either Estonia or the Czech Republic
11. My favorite - Austria as the Czech Republic and Belarus as Slovakia - which would have meant a fascinating history of the unified state from 1919-1989, since they were separated a few states...

1. “The Ottoman Empire was defeated by the Japanese in the early 18th century.”

2. “Another imperial problem that Europe faced was the Boxers Rebellion. This conflict started because the Harmoneous and Rhitious fists of China wanted to stop British and western influences on their country. There were also the Indian Muntainy, in which the Indian people fought for their own indepences from European influences. After WWII Europe as a whole was mixed and manggled.”

3. “The rivalry between France & Great Britain since 1789 is like the great college football rivaly of UofA & ASU." ... “The Ottoman Empire was the big man on campus.”

4. In the First World War, the United States “teamed up with France, Germany went with Britain. Prussia even got involved because they were already upset at France.”

5. “The Austrian-Hungarian empire was originally the Ottoman Empire.”

6. Bismarck forced France to give up “Asslance Lorean and sign the Treaty of Versali.”

7. “Tsarist Russia fought on Britian’s side during World War Two, but Russia became a communist country shortly thereafter. Britian strongly disliked communism, and Britian and Russia ended up fighting each other in the Cold War.”

8. Because the French lost the 7 Years’ War, Spain got Canada.

9. Russian imperialism spread to the East, and they conquered the Netherlands.

10. German unification was “done by a genius man named Bismark.”

11. “Imperealism had been a new concept to all the empires but World War II put an end to this.”

12. “The Ottoman Empire rained supreme for nearly 500 years.”

13. “Germany had difficult times in war, because of their lack of embracy of technology.”

14. Russia tried to “go through Afghanistan in order to get to India at the Black Sea.”

15. “From the begging of history, the French and the British have had their differences.”

16. Britain and France signed the “Entente Contical, which in simple terms meant they wouldn’t fight.”

17. “The unification of Germany and Italy was a major event in history. The Germans with Hitler and the Italians with Mussolini. These two powers united seemed undestructrable.”

18. “The American Revolution was not long, in fact once Britain found out that France had funded the American troops and helped them fight, they backed out.”

19. “In 1948 Otto Von Bismarck passed a new constitution, and became unified.” Germany wasn’t Germany until 1948? Dude…

20. “It doesn’t seem Russia ever got their warm water. Poor, cold Russia.”

21. “Europe has had a very long history within itself and outside.”

So many students, so many completely wrong statements! I'm sure the Austrians and Turks would be interested in knowing that they are, in fact, the same people - and so all that fighting they did for 500 years was actually just fighting themselves. And the fact that Bismarck unified Germany in 1948? Wow... I'm especially excited to learn that Britain simply ran back to England - all it took was the basic knowledge that the French were involved to make them run home! As for geography... *sigh* I can't even begin with that. As for their spelling, well, these aren't all that bad, except, perhaps, for Asslance Lorean (Alsace-Lorraine), Rhitious fists (Righteous Fists), manggled (mangled), and whatever the heck "embracy" is. Ha.

Hope these were enjoyable. :-)

1 comment:

Olivia said...

This is too funny, these kids should have to take geography and english 101 before taking this class.