Question: How do two of the things you do compare?

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We generally have more than one kind of task to do at work or at college. For instance, we might need to write up our research and then make a presentation, which are two entirely different kettles of fish (“2 versch. Töpfe mit Fischen” = 2 Paar Stiefel). Or we might need to manage a group of people, but also do some highly specialized work ourselves. Each of those elements of work has its own challenges and rewards.

In my case, as a provider of language services I translate, write and teach, and each of those requires very different skills. I have to change my mindset when I go from one to the other. Let me just compare writing and teaching: When I write I’ve got an audience in my head, and need to use my imagination to figure out what the reader will want and need. When I teach, I do some of the same kind of imagining in advance, but I don’t fix things absolutely. Instead, I wait for immediate feedback, and just need to be very awake and aware to respond to what I see and hear. Another difference is that when I write, I can make corrections once I see the whole thing. But as a teacher, once you’re in the situation, it’s live. This is something I really enjoy. And finally, when I write I’m responsible for the content. When I teach, my students and I share that responsibility.

So: I’d like to invite you to think about two such types of work you do:

  • Where are the challenges?
  • Where do the rewards lie?

Essay models for this question

This could be a nice essay question for a 6 paragraph essay: 1 introducing your subject, then 4 dedicated to the challenges and rewards of the first and second type of work, and then your final paragraph summarizing something that your reflections have led you to recognize.

An alternative, 5 paragraph essay could take 3 differences between the two types (as I did in the text above) and devote a paragraph to each, plus the introductory and closing paragraph.

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6 Responses

  1. Ok, slightly off topic but how do you record your podcast, how do you add the seagulls and how do you put it all onto the blog.
    Then, how would you describe your accent – as in “I have a/an……..accent”?

  2. The accent is very tricky. I grew up speaking German in Washington, DC and have been here since 1981, so there is a German lilt to it, I’d say. Something about the vowels is not quite American. When I have to do an American accent for a recording, I sort of change the way my mouth works for those few minutes. But it doesn’t feel natural.
    The podcasting software comes as a plugin to WordPress. For Blogger you’ll need a different setup. It’s a bit involved, but possible. Are you thinking of setting one up? More tech talk here:

  3. Sorry, I forgot to explain the seagulls. I found them on a site called the freesound project that allows free Collective Commons Plus 1.0 licence, using this file courtesy of “rockdoctor”. I copy it in as my “jingle track”. I tried to record nature sounds on Drummond, but my microphone isn’t quite good enough. It makes the waves in the background sound a little like the Autobahn.

  4. i think the podcast insert is a nice addition, i’ll follow your links and try.
    Seagulls have to be in my top ten lists of sounds>
    i miss them living in a forest and when i hear them i think always of home.

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