i'm jennifer dawn and i live in seoul with my dog and cat.
First week of Ewha has gone by and the second one is soon to start..
AAAANNDDD my Korean-English translation is a huge mess and I’m so embarrassed. I actually turned it in without doing much editing because I was tired of looking at it, which was a huge mistake (and actually a no brainer, but i was trying to finish up a English-Korean translation on a speech about Kafka so I was tired).. it wouldn’t be so bad but we have to do group critiques and send our translations to everyone in class. So everyone has read mine by this point and I’ve read everyone else’s. I’m the only one to have about 4-5 glaring mistranslations from the text.. everyone else just has awkward English, which is to be expected. UGHHH WHYYYYYY.. It wasn’t even a very difficult piece. Ugh.
Also, I have the most terrifying professor EVER for our sight translation class.. She actually works in the interpretation department and seems unable to understand translation students’ unwillingness to speak out, haha. In class, she basically calls on people randomly (rather coldly, I might add) and makes them translate on the spot and then just as quickly calls on someone after to critique the previous person’s translation. It sucks because obviously everyone wants to be busy trying to add notes to the upcoming text in case they get called on, but you have no time (which is obviously the point..). Anyways, it’s horrifying and I almost cried after the first day. Thankfully I’m not the only one.. it seems other students are having an equally difficult time. Oh, and to make the class even more terrifying, the professor spoke about how she has had students run out of her class crying or otherwise left crying. And she herself remembers crying in the stairwell during her time at Ewha’s interpretation department. I guess she was trying to make us feel better but it really just made me feel more hopeless.
I have a lot of mixed feelings running through me right now. The program is based on a lot of presentations of one’s work, public critiques and A LOT of homework. I’m a horrible public speaker but I’m trying to be strong, haha.. It’s really tough, also, because there are so many students who have previous experience translating or teaching English, and it seems like a lot of them are English or English literature majors. They spent a lot of time using their second language in higher academia.. whereas I spent my time learning Korean mostly at hagwons and their textbooks? Haha .. From the very beginning I feel like I’m so, so behind. My vocabulary is atrocious without a dictionary.. which makes me a very slow translator (which, in turn, creates a problem for those future midterms and finals).. I’m not a good public speaker.. Sigh.
I do have two classes conducted completely in English, which came as a huge relief after spending my first two days with headaches. I’m (somewhat) looking forward to my essay writing class because the teacher seems to emphasize creativity (though it is not a creative writing class, by any means). My Advanced English class might be a mess. The professor made sure to emphasize, probably because of me, that the midterms and finals were going to be difficult *even for native speakers (and perhaps more difficult for native speakers)*. They are grammar based tests. He also emphasizes public speaking and discussion.
Even though it’s only been a week I do feel like I’ve met some pretty amazing girls and most of the professors have such wonderful and amazing personalities. But I can’t help but find myself feeling very lonely, misunderstood, and incompetent… just trying to take it day by day, I suppose. Rei and I are the first foreigners to be admitted to the Korean-English translation program and, as such, were more or less told that we have some pretty important roles to fill and that it will be a difficult road. I’ve never considered myself as someone other people would look at for anything, so it feels.. pretty weird. I’m not really sure if I’m the best person for this role. I’m actually a pretty lazy and nervous person who speaks before thinking, is prone to making all kinds of mistakes in everything (thus leading to lots of embarrassing episodes) with an affinity for drink. I’ve never been one to necessarily work for a grade because I never saw grades as a reflection of much. I’ve always been very much content with simply passing. How did I end up here again?
Also, I’m really only updating because I’m avoiding doing work for that evil, evil sight translation class.
Oh, and did I add that three unexcused absences leads to an automatic failure of that class? The next part I’m still unsure of, but it seems that if you fail one class then you have to take the entire semester over again because each semester is linked. :O@23 hours ago