Model student

First semester of the MA TESOL program is in the books and Plan Z continues. Each semester is only two classes but it’s a lot of work, and I did a lot of work. I was a model student, always in my seat with bright-eyed enthusiasm and hands folded, ready to answer any question the teacher might have posed.

Ok that last part is a lie. I always sat near the back the classroom for two reasons:

  1. So that the teachers wouldn’t “use me” in their hypothetical examples, and
  2. So I could secretly play poker on my iPad

But I paid attention when it counted and did all the homework and busted my ass on midterms and finals. Mission accomplished. Now I only have to do that for two more semesters and then write a thesis or something.

Brain class final paper | Teaching Writing final paper

Btw, my Teaching Writing final paper was selected by the professor to “represent” our class in the annual TESOL Journal published by the MA TESOL department. Hooray, now I can put “Journal Editor and Contributor” on my resume. I had already volunteered to be an editor (so I could put it on the resume).

If you can’t read this, it says “A+” and “A+”

posted by Michael in Back to School on 7/3/2015 | No Comments

Puppy Freakshow

Dear Koreans, please stop doing this to your dogs.

  

posted by Michael in Walking Terry on 7/3/2015 | No Comments

Summer haircut before & after

 

posted by Michael in Terry the Dog on 5/31/2015 | No Comments

A poem I wrote in 2008

I just found this gem in an old Facebook chat. Apparently a friend had asked me to write a submission for an adoptee newsletter or something and this is what I came up with.

My dog Terry is neat.
He always wants to eat.
For breakfast I give him shredded wheat.
His favorite food is meat.
He gets excited when I say Treat.
He’s hard to catch when he runs down the street.
When we’re playing poker he likes to cheat.
He’s popular with bitches in heat.
He gets pissed when I’m sitting in his seat.
When I’m watching TV he licks my feet.
He gets grossed out when I beat.
Off.

I don’t think it got printed.

posted by Michael in Whatever on 5/17/2015 | No Comments

My Three Homes


Chicago Timelapse Project, Windy City Nights II
from Max Wilson


Seoul Timelapse 2011 from Oh Choong Young

Timelapse: San Francisco from Adonis Pulatus

posted by Michael in Misc. Videos on 5/16/2015 | No Comments

Beer gut + gold cape + red speedo = rockstar

There are much weirder Japanese music videos than this, but I like this guy because he looks hilarious and just doesn’t care… and apparently his four hot friends don’t care either.

posted by Michael in Music Videos on 5/13/2015 | Comment (1)

$10 for a canteloupe

That seems reasonable.

 

posted by Michael in Whatever on 5/12/2015 | No Comments

Last week’s homework

This week is week 11! My first semester will be over in about a month. Gonna be busy.

I’ll lead off with brain class homework this time. One of the chapters we had to read was apparently written for fucking brain surgeons so it was pretty hard to digest. Ugh. This is the second shortest homework I’ve turned in so far.


1. Logie and Duff (2007) investigates the relationship between processing and memory span. What is memory span and what do they find about its role in working memory?
Working memory span is “immediate memory” as it functions alongside cognitive processing. It is essentially the extent to which we are able to both process and immediately recall that processed information. Logie and Duff (2007) found that processing and memory, when working together in a combined task of verifying arithmetic sums and recalling the solutions, was only slightly more demanding than each task performed individually (p. 122-124). Similar results were also found in a related experiment that was slightly modified, suggesting that the brain has separate resources that serve both memory and processing which can run concurrently without any significant performance deficit (p. 126-128). This stands in stark contrast to Barrouillet and Camos (2001) who posited that processing and memory were a single resource where one function’s allocation would detract from the performance of the other (as cited in Logie and Duff, 2007, p. 120). If our brains are truly wired to both process and recall simultaneously, then it would stand to reason that actively integrating context into learning might be one of the reasons that this is possible.

2. Martin and Hamilton (2007) propose a model of working memory that has striking differences from the original model proposed by Baddeley. On what evidence do they propose their new model?
Of the three components of working memory outlined by Baddeley and Hitch (1974, as cited in Martin and Hamilton, 2007, p. 183), it seems that the item most directly challenged by Martin and Hamilton is the phonological loop. Martin and Hamilton point to numerous cases that contradict the phonological loop’s proposed purposes in the fact that prose is easier to recall than unrelated words and that various STM patients have demonstrated comprehension of complex sentences despite severe short-term memory loss (p. 184). As an alternative to Baddeley and Hitch’s working memory theory, Martin and Hamilton propose a model of STM wherein language processing functions through separate semantic and phonological components. The logic of this separation can be seen in patients whose semantic short-term memory deficits cause difficulties in recognizing the anomaly in a sentence such as ‘She saw the green, bright, shining sun, which pleased her,’ but not in a similar sentence where the position of the adjectives was changed, as in ‘The sun was bright, shining, and green, which pleased her’ (p. 185). Changing the position of the word
green, the anomaly, allowed the semantically-challenged patients to identify it correctly, but no such pattern was seen in patients whose short-term memory deficits were phonological in nature. Likewise, Freedman, Martin, and Biegler (2004) found that semantic STM patients were at a great disadvantage in comparison with phonological STM patients when asked to name two semantically-related pictures in a single phrase (as cited on p. 186). Read more…

posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/11/2015 | No Comments

My hilarious TESOL joke

Someone in my Teaching Writing class tonight was talking about how he had attended a thing where the Stephen Krashen was speaking (Krashen is very well known in the world of TESOL). He talked about how Krashen said over and over that reading skills lead to better writing skills.

And then I chimed in…

“And then Swain stood up and starting saying how writing influences reading!”

GET IT? The teacher laughed. She thought it was funny.



posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/6/2015 | No Comments

The NCAA Amazon Project

First I created Miss Kylie and ManlyStuff69 on Twitter for the purpose of trying to save a certain mock betting site that Pat’s friend created. Then I thought about the possibility of using Twitter to sell a popular weight loss plan called The Venus Factor so I created a fake doctor who may or may not start hawking this weight loss thing, I haven’t really decided yet. Then I revisited the betting thing, looking for a better way to build an audience that would be interested in the underserved fantasy market for college football… see, fantasy football is huge but it’s only available for NFL teams. This betting site owned by Pat’s friend isn’t fantasy football, but it has fantasy elements to it that I think college football fans would be onboard with, and it’s also just as fun as fantasy football so I think it could be very successful if the right audience could be reached. Then I started thinking about trying to monetize this audience in other ways, just in case the betting site doesn’t work out. This is how the NCAA Amazon Project was born. Here’s the very, very simple plan:

  1. Build an audience of followers for the top 10 college football programs
  2. Post Amazon.com affiliate links to team-specific gear such as sweatshirts, coffee tumblers, baby clothes, etc., interspersed with legitimate sports news

 

I’ve been more or less retired from all of my web-based projects for the past year, so I’m ready to give this a try. I think I can automate things to the point that very little maintenance will be required, but there’s a good amount of legwork to be done before I reach that point. If nothing else, I should learn a few things from this and maybe come up with some better ideas in the future.


posted by Michael in Plan X on 5/4/2015 | No Comments
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Midterm papers

Well I haven’t posted any homework since week 5. Does anyone care? No? Ok. Since then we’ve had one week where there was no homework because midterms were coming due, so I think I really only forgot to post one week’s assignments.

In each of my classes we were given options such as writing a theoretical assessment of an issue, conducting research, writing lesson plans, etc. There was no actual exam and I suspect there never will be unless I choose practicum over writing a thesis in order to graduate. So anyway I chose to write a theoretical assessment for both classes. It was a lot of research, and I actually learned a lot from writing the papers. My finals in both classes will be a continuation of the midterm, so I’ll be continuing my research on both topics at semester’s end.

Teaching Writing: I wrote about how Twitter, Facebook, and blogging can be used to improve second language learners’ writing skills.

(Download PDF) Social Networking Platforms and Their Potential to Aid in the Development of L2 Writing Skills

Human Learning & Cognition: I wrote about how age affects second language learning, and I also talked about different views of the critical period hypothesis (this theory says that you have to start learning a second language during childhood if  you want to master it).

(Download PDF) Investigating the Disparate Relationship Between Age and L2A Success

posted by Michael in Back to School on 5/2/2015 | No Comments

This is how I procrastinate

I should be working on a paper that’s due a week from today, but instead I’m figuring out how to get tens (or hundreds?) of thousands of real followers on Twitter for a few fake people I’ve created. One of them is a hot girl who likes puppies and kittens and funny pics, another is a female of unspecified age (as of yet) but she is politically conservative and can’t stop watching Fox News, and yet another is a manly man who likes all things manly, especially football. Hot girl also likes football. Weird coincidence.

I’m doing this because of my long-held belief that I know the internet well enough to exploit it for long-term, sustainable financial gain which, if I begin to see some success, will someday involve hiring a contractor in the Philippines to manage these fake personalities. Teachers don’t get paid shit so I gotta get creative. So far my only real online success has been iphoneappreviews.net but that was too much work and I feel like the only people who are interested in reading about iPhone apps anymore are iPhone app developers.

I have a loosely-formed strategy which starts with Twitter and ends with a large canvas bag full of money, and there is a big dollar sign printed on that bag. Yes, thank you, my plan is brilliant. Nearly three years ago I experimented with fake Twitter followers but did nothing with them. I was just curious about the fakes. I got 20,000 fake followers which, three years later, is now down to 261*. I guess those fake Twitter followers don’t last forever. But I’ve done some more digging and I believe there is a way to use third party services and statistical probability to turn fake followers into real followers, and then those real followers slowly morph into the money bag. As with many entrepreneurial pursuits the internet is a numbers game, and it takes big numbers to fill the bag.

As of this moment, hot girl has precisely eight followers on Twitter (mostly friends but all are real), unspecified Republican female has one (manly man), and manly man has two followers (one of them is real, the other is a Twitter alias that I invented for academic purposes, tesolrobot). Let’s see, three twitter accounts and a grand total of nine real followers. That’s not gonna cut it. I’ll post an update after I start to see the results of the new Twitter follower-getting strategy that I learned from YouTube. Cost-wise I’ll have to spend the equivalent of about three foot-long Subway sandwiches to test each of my three Twitter accounts (a foot-long in Korea is about $9… no $5 foot-longs here), but I have confidence. I think this will be fun. Plan Z is most definitely in effect, but that doesn’t mean I have to abandon all other plans. You know what? Let’s call this Twitter shit Plan X. Yeah. Plan X, because who the fuck knows when it will succeed or if I’ll ever give up on it. Spoiler alert: I probably won’t give up on it.

I actually like teaching and in a strange way I also enjoy academia, but the dream of spending the rest of my life on the couch, in my underwear, and not giving a fuck, is still alive. Some dreams never die.

Now it’s time to get back to grad school bizness.

* 5/4/15 Update: I’m hijacking @kickedintheball for my NCAA Amazon project, so my new USC Twitter handle will inherit the fakes.

posted by Michael in Plan X on 4/24/2015 | No Comments
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Terry making a weird face at the park

Urrrgghhhh

Back to normal

 

posted by Michael in Walking Terry on 4/12/2015 | No Comments

Some of my students

 

Daniel, Lisa, Paul, Hyoseo

 

Apple, Eileen/Aileen, Andy, Jason

 

Minsoo, Brian, Lacey, Sua

 

Flora, Jinseo, Stephanie, Victoria

 

posted by Michael in Whatever on 4/12/2015 | No Comments

Week 5 homework

I already posted my Easter thing so this is just a bunch of questions from the reading for both Teaching Writing and Brain Class (Human Cognition and Learning).


Brain class. I kind of punted on the last three questions. I really should hold off on cracking open the celebratory beer until I’m actually done with homework. 

Terry (2006) Chapter 7, Human Memory: Conceptual Approaches
1. What is Dual-Store Theory and how does it explain memory?
The Dual-Store Theory states that memory is divided into short- and long-term memory, and each of these types of memory exhibit different traits. Short-term memory, as indicated by its name, is very brief and is limited in capacity. Once an item or series of items have been stored in STM, they may be displaced by additional items that follow, such as when attempting to remember a string of numbers or words. LTM does not suffer from these shortcomings and has no discernible limits on storage capacity or length of recall. For example, it would be difficult for another person to remember this string of numbers: 71839111402569103070. I, on the other hand, stored these numbers years ago in my long-term memory as the respective birthdates of my father, mother, sister, and brother. STM and LTM may be separate in the way they function, but STM does serve the purpose of encoding information into LTM (Terry, 2006, p. 196-197). Glanzer & Cunitz (1966, as cited on p. 197) also found that the primacy effect was enhanced when words were presented at a slower pace, allowing for more rehearsals in STM which led to better LTM encoding. Terry also noted that the recency effect of the serial position curve disappears over time but the primacy effect remains (p. 197). Most teachers are probably already aware that delivering lessons slowly is more conducive to learning than speeding through them, but Glanzer & Cunitz’s study serves as a reminder that pace can be an important factor in the classroom.

Read more…

posted by Michael in Back to School on 4/10/2015 | No Comments