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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Slow ISPs and stereotypical students

I've used Firefox on my MacBook since I got this computer on advice from one of the "geniuses" at the Apple Store who said it was faster and had better features. For most of the past two years, that advice served me well.
 
But has anyone else noticed how slow Firefox was running in the past few months, even through several upgrades? At first, I was afraid it was just my computer and prepared for a complete meltdown but after doing some Googling, I discovered that constant freezing and a slow connection are common complaints about Firefox 3.

This week I switched back to Safari and sure enough, it's quite a bit faster and never freezes. Does anyone else experience these problems with Safari, specifically on a Mac? Now I'm finally enjoying the super-fast Internet Korea is famous for, arguably the fastest Internet in the world. 

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There were some unintentionally hilarious students in my classes today. One girl was Tracy Flick reincarnated as an 11-year-old Asian. Every time the class was asked a question, her arm flew into the air aggressively, at times propelling her out of her seat. Raising her hand became a full-body maneuver. There was a constant look of determination on her face and when she wasn't called on, it was seemingly soul-crushing. 

Adding to her frustration were several misbehaving boys on her team, causing them to lose points and ultimately not get the maximum number of excellent stamps. I fully prepared to see veins popping out of her forehead and for the Hulk to suddenly burst forth. 

In another class, Talk Show, my low-level students didn't quite understand some of the questions:

Host: Where are you from? 
Guest: Pizza?
Host: What is your job? 
Guest: Pizza?
Host: What is your favorite food?
Guest: Pizza?

Ah, finally, a successful answer!

And then there was the class full of enthusiasm but severely lacking any geographical knowledge in Culture. It took our combined efforts and a few not-so-subtle hits from the teacher to locate Korea on a world map. Popular alternative locations included Florida, India and Thailand. At least they knew it was a peninsula.

What a difference from last week's students, who were able to correctly identify Togo's flag when it appeared as a question on Jeopardy. All three of their college-educated teachers were stumped but every single team knew what Togo's flag looked like. Impressive.