Tag Archives: essays

Final Exams!

6 Jan

​For the week when you have:

  • 200 📑#ESL Essays to grade
  • 310 📊 #Economics Exams to give & grade
  • 162 🌎 International #Business Exams to give & grade
  • 500 🖥 Final Scores to enter

all before the week is done. ✍💼

We need #Cola,  #Coloring Pens, and #Chocolate!!!  Bringing out the big guns! 


*(means #Fighting! in #Chinese)

Be Logical and Analytical

19 Dec

Tips for writing papers for your English classes.  In many college English classes (even in China), you will see the same pattern. The teacher gives you an article with some “message” and then they ask you to analyze 分析 it. NOT summarize 总结 – although students always try to do this instead. 

Tip 1 — English teachers RARELY 很少 want you to write an answer telling them all the ways the author was RIGHT. In English, a lot of your job is finding weaknesses 弱点 or problems. So they usually don’t want you to say “The author is correct because _________________”  You can talk about a couple ways the author is right, but you should also have something talking about how the author MIGHT be wrong or incorrect.

Tip 2 — Pretend the author is a review on Taobao. You want to buy the product, and you see ONE person who gave it 5 starts and a really excellent review. Do you buy it? NO! Now you do more research: How many stars did the product get overall? What do other reviewers say? Did someone pay this person to review the product? Did they post Pictures to prove it?

We do the same for English essay writing. Just because the message LOOKS really good, doesn’t mean the author is completely correct. What proof does the author give? Do they have examples? Do they make good arguments? Are they biased (did someone pay them to write the article, like a magazine or tv station?). Are they related to the topic in some way (for example a woman writing about feminism or someone writing about their friend.)


MESSAGE = “Women deserve equality” — GOOD

A) Because my father says so — BAD.  Why do we care? What if your dad is Darth Vader or Thanos? Do we still care what he says? 

B) Because all women were oppressed and forced to live at home in the past. — BAD.  Overgeneralization. What about successful women like Empress Wu Zetian or the Celtic women who fought in battle beside their husbands?  If this author were trying to sell you something on Taobao, what concerns does the article give you? 

Bar Exam Tips

26 Feb

I haven’t gotten my score back, so I can’t offer any advice as to how to pass the bar. But I can tell you what let me survive the bar. 🙂

  1. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST! Line up everything you’ll need for the exam days, as well as orientation. Verify what proof of identity is required and whether anything else is needed for registration. You cannot arrive without the stuff needed to sign in.
  2. Look at what you can and cannot bring into the exam. It does you no good to orient yourself to a highlighting system in practice if highlighters are against the rules.  
  3. Practice Test with the tools given in the bar.  If you have pencils, then use pencils.  
  4. Give yourself an extra 15-30 minutes to arrive the first day of orientation. There will be plenty of people around to chat with, and it allows you the potential time for recovering if you get lost.  Make sure you know the route you’ll take to get there on time each day.
  5. Check out where food is located. In Iowa, the only nearby food is the Starbucks food cart, but it can run out of food after a while (or at least any options).  Everything else is a fair distance away.  
  6. Find out where to access drinks. Especially drinks at lower prices than the Starbucks. They wanted $3.50 for the same bottle that was $1.00 in the machine.
  7. Don’t eat stuffy foods. You’re going to be sitting for the next 6 hours in one spot with limited movement. Don’t eat anything that will stuff you up and make you sick.
  8. Don’t drink too much. You’re going to get 1-2 trips to the bathroom max. . . don’t drink too much water. 
  9. Don’t drink alcohol. Wait until after the exam–you cannot afford a hangover or to feel groggy the next day.
  10. SLEEPI know that everyone is already aware of this, but you need a decent night’s sleep.  The stress starts letting up the closer you get to finishing the bar, and by the end you’ll start feeling tired. It’s even worse when the rooms are warm and the multiple choice questions hit the boring stage.  Try to be as well rested as possible.
  11. Stop Stressing. It’s done; you have no more time to study or re-call anything else. Whatever happens is going to happen regardless of what you’re going to do.  Not worth extra stress that will only make you more tired.
  12. If possible, bring someone with you. They don’t want you to bring in anything, so having someone on hand to make sure you arrive safely, have money for food, watch over your bags, etc. can be a big help. The moral support isn’t too bad either.
  13. Time Everything. The biggest complaint I heard was that people ran out of time–many failed to answer some of the questions at all.  The test is set up to be easy to divide into portions. Essays get 30 minutes each; Multiple choice gets 3-4 minutes each; MPT essays get 90 minutes each. Promise yourself that you won’t spend any more time. If you have a chance at the end, go back, but otherwise try to put something down for everything. 
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