I’m a hopeless teacher

September 24th, 2007

Or at least that’s how it felt today. I was all prepared, I knew what had to be done, I’d done the same lesson three times already last week (with the other classes, obviously. I do not inflict my students with the same inane bullshit four times over. I’m not that cruel). But I dunno, somehow the exhaustion from yesterday’s food poisoning combined with the lack of sleep thanks to my rather idiotic decision to drink 人å?‚乌龙 yesterday evening somehow conspired to completely short circuit my brain. Never mind, it’s over now, and I have only two classes tomorrow, neither of which is in the morning.

But the enemy is coming. This evening in fact. They’re trying to steal away my students. When I walked into class I found flyers for some lecture this evening about studying at a university in Australia. A different one from the one my programme works with. Actually, I found the flyers kind of interesting, especially the way they were marketing Monash. I bought one home and maybe I’ll translate it later on. Right now I’m feeling pretty tired, but I’ll try and scrape together a bit of energy and see if I can turn these flyers into something worth posting about.

Well, what interested me was a list of bullet points about how great Monash is:

莫纳什大学 (Monash University)

  • å??列澳洲八大院校 (Group of Eight)。
  • 亚洲å‰?å??,世界å‰?å››å??。
  • 毕业生起薪高于普通大学平å?‡æ°´å¹³ï¼Œä¼—多国际公å?¸ç§¯æž?在此招è?˜ã€‚
  • 拥有澳洲最大的工程学院,科研补助金5星,研究强度5星,师生比例5星。
  • 众多å?Œå­¦å£«ï¼Œå?Œç¡•å£«è¯¾ç¨‹ï¼Œæ¯?å¹´250万澳元的奖学金数é¢?,超过75个研究中心。

Monash University

  •  Among Australia’s eight great schools (Group of Eight).
  • Top ten in Asia, top fourty in the world.
  • The probationary salary of graduates is higher than that of ordinary universities, many international companies actively look for employees here.
  • Has Australia’s largest engineering institute, 5 star grants for scientific research, 5 star research strength, 5 star student-teacher ratio.
  • Many double bachelors and double masters programmes, every year a set amount of 2.5 million Australian dollars in scholarships, more than 75 research centres.

As always, advice, constructive criticism and corrections of my translation are welcome. Especially with “æ¯?å¹´250万澳元的奖学金数é¢?”. I’m not convinced I’ve got it right with “every year a set amount of 2.5 million Australian dollars in scholarships”.

Well, I suppose I could follow that link to the Monash University website, and I suppose I could get on to Google and verify all of these claims, but that’s not the point.  I suppose I could point out that some of those bullet points are really two or three apparently unrelated bullet points squashed into one, but that again is not the point. Actually, I’m not sure what the point is, but I found it interesting, in an odd kind of way, how Monash’s China rep is presenting Monash. What points she chose to highlight, and why.

The first two are clearly about prestige. So you never heard of Monash? Well, did you know that it’s in the top ten universities in Asia, and in the top 40 worldwide? And Australia’s Group of Eight big universities.

The third: Career opportunities, clearly, which is, of course, a big worry these days, seeing how a university degree is no longer the super-secure meal ticket to the gravy train it once was. But again, there’s an element of prestige: Not just an ordinary degree, a Monash degree will get you a higher than average probationary salary (so you can imagine how much more you’ll be earning when you get a real salary) and many international companies are going to come actively looking for you.

Number four is again clearly prestige, but I have no idea what all these 5 stars are supposed to mean in reality. This is not a hotel we’re talking about.

I’m really not sure about the fifth. We’ve suddenly gone from the nice and specific “Biggest engineering institute in Australia!” to vague mentions of double bachelors and double masters and money and research centres.

Still, you certainly can’t expect details, it is, after all, just a flyer advertising a lecture, and presumably the lecture will provide more details.

I don’t know what any of this means (and I don’t feel threatened in any way: My students expressed about as much interest in going to this Monash lecture as they do in learning to write proper academic English essays. Less, even.), and I really don’t think one stupid little flyer can provide much insight into anything, but I found something interesting in the way they chose to market Monash. I don’t know why. Just ignore me.

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