July 5, 2010 | Greek
How I Spent My Fourth of July Holiday
Mostly I studied.
I did a massive amount of studying yesterday. It was fabulous. Maybe six or seven hours. A ton of Rosetta Stone, a not insignificant amount of Pimsleur, and some reading in a grammar book.
Yeah, I know, it was a holiday—but it was time to get serious.
View from the Times Square Hotel Where I Swam
I still can’t run. I’m unhappy but philosophical about it. I swam yesterday instead. And I swam the day before that, too. I’ll keep swimming and doing everything else but run, I guess, until I can run. My favorite summer road races are approaching, arriving, and passing me as I sit there pedaling pointlessly on the exercise bike at the gym. Alas.
I kept notes on my Rosetta Stone scores for the day and have listed them below. (Dear Rosetta Stone, I am pretty sure you have a rounding error in the initial calculations, because in at least four cases, my scores, carefully copied as I finished each lesson, were off by a percentage point when I went back to check them on the main page. I am thinking that in the initial scoring, the program may be truncating the tenths digit before figuring out whether to round up or not. Meaning a 96.8% would be scored as a 96% immediately after the lesson, even though it shows up correctly as a 97% later.)
Okay, back to my scores. The jumping around in lesson numbers listed below is because of Rosetta Stone, not me; I was just following their lead as they took me through the program. Sometimes they go back to previous lessons as part of a natural review; sometimes they go back if you got a lousy score the first time around. Mostly I don’t know why I get taken back to a previous lesson, though.
In any case, see if you notice a pattern in my scores.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Core Lesson: 111 correct, 3 incorrect. 97%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Pronunciation. 19 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 2 > Speaking. 30 correct, 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 2 > Review. 32 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Reading. 31 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 3 > Listening. 65 correct, 3 incorrect. 96%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Grammar. 24 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 3 > Writing. 8 correct, 9 incorrect. 47%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 3 > Speaking. 22 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Listening. 46 correct, 2 incorrect. 96%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 3 > Review. 31 correct, 1 incorrect. 97%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Vocabulary. 35 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Speaking. 19 correct, 1 incorrect. 95%.
- Level 1, Unit 4, Lesson 4 > Review. 24 correct. 100%.
- Level 1, Unit 4 Milestone. 19 correct, 1 incorrect. 95%.
- Level 1, Unit 2, Lesson 1 > Grammar. Forgot to record correct/incorrect questions. 100%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1 > Core Lesson. 120 correct, 1 incorrect. 99%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1 > Pronunciation. 21 correct. 100%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1 > Vocabulary. 40 correct. 100%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1 > Grammar. 32 correct, 1 incorrect. 97%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2 > Core Lesson. 108 correct, 2 incorrect. 98%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 2 > Pronunciation. 18 correct. 100%.
- Level 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1 > Writing. 13 correct, 5 incorrect. 72%.
So, my writing scores still suck. Although they are up substantially from the 30-something percents I’ve been getting, I couldn’t do better than a 47% on the first one I did today, and a 72% on the second one.
Fireworks, As Seen From Our Roof (Because I’m Not All Work, No Play)
And I concentrated like hell to get that 72%. I was paying attention to written forms all the way through the other non-writing exercises, in a way no one would think to do unless they were facing public humiliation by blog. All my non-writing scores were between 95% and 100%.
My point again, and this time it has been proven scientifically by me, is that there is something wrong with the way Rosetta Stone is approaching the writing pieces. Those lessons are just too hard, and they are scored too hard.
In fact, of all the lessons listed above, that last writing one was in my opinion my most brilliant performance of the day. It was way, way more challenging than any of the non-writing lessons, and to land that C- equivalent, I had to rely on skills and knowledge I had acquired from sources other than Rosetta Stone.
As an example of what students of written Greek are up against: at one point I was supposed to write a sentence about someone’s gray hair. “Gray” in that particular sentence is spelled γκρίζα (adjective forms change based on context). The first three letters at the beginning, though they look to English alphabet users as if they should be pronounced yikup, or something in that vein, are what make the gr sound. This consonant combination is very difficult for a new Greek student to remember, and basically impossible to figure out once you forget.
To compensate for my unfairly low scores, I am going to nominate myself for the most improved writing student award.