Apr 27, 2012

waterfalls, failing students and roots

Here's my lesson learned as a first time uni teacher. If you fail students, you will create a lot more work for yourself. For example, I failed 5 students for plagiarism. They blatantly ripped their written assignments (some 95% or more! Seriously!) off the internet, didn't change anything, straight up copied. Of course, morally, I had to fail them for plagiarism. And apparently my university takes plagiarism seriously... When I submitted grades, the handler of the English department then called them to make them aware of their grades and told them to go talk to me about it to see if I would change it. And then emailed me with this fantastic little nugget:

While you talk with your students having dissatisfactions of his or her grade,
if you want to generously forgive some of them, and decide to regrade their grads, then just e-mail me by the end of April.

Yes, of course they have been contacting me, basically saying they had no idea that plagiarism (while not admitting to knowingly doing so) isn't ok and that I should change their grade. And this is only Friday and I don't teach on Fridays. I'm sure I'm in for all kinds of fun come Monday when I'll be rolling into school and it's the last possible day to change grades...

So I'm a newbie to being 100% responsible for grades, but the impression I've gotten all around is that I'm in the wrong for failing students, not that they're in the wrong for plagiarizing work. I should just look the other way. It's wonderful.

Aside from the sad part of being a university teacher, here's a waterfall!

 Chungju is a whole lot nicer now that it's green! Ok, I'm going to admit it, it isn't the prettiest city. But it does have a whole lot going on for it outside of the main city area. Like this waterfall! You'd have to bike or drive out here, but it's a nice little spot to relax.
Or go fishing, if you're into that. There were some billboards stating that you're not allowed to swim here. But there were some previous bonfire remnants scattered around, so it is a pretty great hang out and possible camping spot. I got a ride from another teacher at my university. So it's a bit more difficult to find, I'm not sure if you could get a bus here (in fact I don't think you could). But you could always bike it! Again, if you're into that. And on to roots!
My favourite root is 더덕 deodeok and I have no idea what the English name is because I had no idea it existed until I came to Korea. You can get deodeok flavoured makgeoli or dongdongju (rice wine) as well as eat it as a side or main dish. My preferred method of eating it is to wash and peel it (usually I buy it with this already done, but this was my only available option this time) cut and rip it into smaller pieces, roll over those pieces with a rolling pin or something similar, marinate and then fry.
I marinated them with gochujang (pepper paste), sesame oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. I'm not Korean, I just go with the general gochujang mix that I like... Then I fried them and sprinkled some sesame seeds on top once I was finished.
They have a slightly meaty texture. Definitely my favourite root to eat in Korea, but a little on the pricey side. More root recipes to come in the future!

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