En-Uk's Birthday was Yesterday . . .
My eleven-year-old son, En-Uk, turned twelve yesterday, which means he's still a tween, not yet a teen. He'd invited a few friends over to celebrate, so the big table where I usually grade essays was occupied by presents and plates and platitudes. Also plenty of food.
Unable to mark the nearly 50 essays for my history class while En-Uk and his friends were running around all afternoon, I instead sat at my computer and edited three articles for the Ewha Voice, a proofreading responsibility that I've recently assumed.
The relatively good English of the articles was a relief, for I had a very different experience nearly ten years ago at Hanshin University when I provided editorial assistance to the student newspaper there. The reporters at Hanshin had first written their articles in Korean and then given me their word-for-word translations. Most of the articles were incomprehensible . . . to me. But when I asked my wife to take a look, she instantly understood and 'translated' the gibberish into standard English. That bout of editing took a lot of my time, so I informed the students there that if I were to be asked again to edit their newspaper, then they'd first need to have their reports proofread by someone who knew both Korean and English. I don't think that I was asked again . . .
I'm therefore quite pleased to find the Ewha Voice reporters so competent at English. I still have to rewrite a good deal to attain a more natural English style, but I can do this relatively quickly because I understand what has been written.
That editing is mostly out of the way for this weekend . . . but those 50-odd essays yet await.
And that's how I spent En-Uk's birthday . . .