Sunday, January 25, 2015

KGSP - My First Chosen Computer

So my UOIT computer has been having issues since pretty much the day I got it because school issued computers are fantastic. Regardless, I've had many good times with this computer. I went through third and fourth year with it, having been used to work on many projects.

I also brought it to Germany and to Korea so it's been pretty well travelled to all things considered. However, it's time to replace it. The GPU has been having issues and it's actually starting to die I think. Also it's been blue screening very frequently so I've been worried.

And I just got these wallpapers pixel perfect too.

So I figured hey, it's been like 2.5 years since I got it and it's been plagued with issues for a while, so let's just go buy a new one. So yesterday me and my friend Derek went to the electronics mall in Daegu and went computer shopping.

The mall itself was really far away. Like Keimyung is on the far western side of Daegu and the mall was on the far northern side so it took a while to get there. Regardless it was kinda interesting I guess. Similar to the electronics mall at Yongsan.

Freaking taxi photobombed me.

So me and my friend walked around for a bit just looking at the laptops and eventually I found a Lenovo one that was alright. Spec wise it wasn't anything too special, but it's better than the one I have now and is sufficient for my needs.

Plus it looked alright and the price also matched my budget so it just seemed like a good purchase. After talking to the guy for a bit I just bought it. There goes a month of my monthly allowance. But hey, now I have a new laptop.

I need a bigger desk. Also it's gonna get dirty so quickly.

It occurred to me recently that this was actually my first real computer purchase. My previous laptop was school issued so I didnt get to choose it. The computer I had before that was bought by my parents to work on high school stuff. And to play World of WarCraft.

So this was actually the first computer I chose on my own and paid for myself too, which makes it kinda special I guess. I just hope it wasn't a bad purchase haha. I always get paranoid when it comes to these things.

Aww yea, Korean keyboard.

So yea, we'll see how it is. Still in the process of setting it up so I'm still using my old one, but maybe tomorrow or the day after I'll switch to it fulltime. Should be hype. Ready to play some World of WarCraft on it >_>

Sunday, January 18, 2015

KGSP - Prerelease and TOPIK

Well this week was a bit more interesting than the last few weeks. For the most part the week was similar to the previous weeks, but the weekend was a bit more interesting at least. On Saturday we had the Prerelease for Fate Reforged.

That's the newest set for Magic the Gathering, which I enjoy playing every once and a while. It's kinda a shame because the scene here in Korea is not that big, especially in Daegu. I have a few friends who play or played, but they didn't have the foresight to bring their cards to Korea.

My spoils from Prerelease, including a fancy $60 promo in the middle there.

Prerelease is always awesome because it's friendly to new players and players without cards, so it worked out really well for some of my friends. Plus they're just fun events so that was nice to go to. My friends and the other foreigners played with the English cards, but I went hard mode and chose the Korean ones.

It's cool, because four months ago when I went to play Magic here for the first time, the cards were all unknown to me. I could read them, but I had no idea what they were saying. Now, I can read them and understand most of them. Progress is being made haha. Moments like those make me appreciate the mindless classes we have.

Also we got an index of all the scholarship students, which I appreciated too.

Speaking of learning Korean, today was my first TOPIK test. That's the Test of Profieciency in Korean. How it works is that there is two tests. Test I is for beginners and gets you level 1 or level 2. Test II is for intermediate and advanced students and gets you levels 3 to 6.

For us, we need level 3 to get into our graduate studies in September, so that's the goal. I did a few Test I reviews and they weren't a breeze, but they were easy enough that I was confident in level 2. Regardless, we didn't need level 2 so I figured I'd fail Test 2 for the experience.

I also got this fancy double sided marker.

My initial expectations were to answer precisely 0 in each section and just guess them all. But surprisingly I could answer a few in each section, so I consider that test a success. Still failed miserably, but relatively successful considering my expectations.

My goal is 50/300 points haha. Statistically, 50 points is what you'd get if you guessed everything, so hopefully I managed that.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

KGSP - More of the Same, but Different

So I've totally just settled into a routine here in Daegu. I mean, I guess it's been almost four and a half months already, so it makes sense that I would've been settled here. But it kinda just hit me this week that I'm just kinda like, here.

Technically this isn't the longest I've been away from home since I went back for a few days back in September, but if you ignore that, this has already been the longest I've been away from home. In 2013 (which was pretty much two years ago!) I spent four months in Germany but I've already eclipsed that.

The first picture I took in Germany, taken 20 (!) months ago.

Damn, time flies. Anyways, this week was more of the same. We started the level 3 book despite still being in level 2 since we're on a quicker schedule than normal language students. The level 3 book is pretty interesting, more interesting than the level 2 book at least.

We're officially doing "intermediate" level Korean, which is pretty cool to say. My Korean still sucks though, but it's surprising sometimes as to how much stuff I can say, despite saying it very elementarily and slowly.

So I have TOPIK next week and I just discovered their Facebook page. Exciting. (Facebook)

So far the level 3 book has a lot more vocabulary than the previous two books, which is good in a way, but at the same time that requires a lot of memorizing. I'm terrible at memorization and I feel like that's holding me back a bit. It's just so dry you know?

Aside from studying I had the usual hanging out with friends and doing random things this week. Like today we went to Toys R Us to check it out. But there's only one store in Daegu and it's on the literal other side of the city, so it's a pain to get to.

Also all my Kyoryuger stuff was sold out. Freaking Korean children stealing my toys. (Jetfusion)

Oh, I guess one interesting thing that happened was I helped out for an English teaching program. The campus was pretty empty until a horde of Koreans showed up one day. Apparently most of them are people studying for TOEIC but there are also some English teachers here for a development camp.

So the language school got me and some of my native English speaking friends to help them out with the program. It was pretty much just an hour where I got to talk to five random Korean English teachers about random things. Interesting change of pace at the very least.

We went to dinner with two of them after and I saw this cool truck on the way back to the dorm.

But yea, other than that standard week as usual. Next week should be more interesting I think. Maybe.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

KGSP - 2014 in Review

So it's officially 2015! Following my very first Christmas away from home comes my first New Years away from home too. New Years isn't as big of a thing for me though, so it wasn't all that exciting regardless.

Me and my friends passed it as you could probably expect. Went to a friend's place and just talked, ate and drank the night away. I really wished the dorm would've extended curfew past 11 for New Year, but of course they didn't so I had to wait until the dorms unlocked again to sleep.

Also, ramyeon in a cup because why not.

Aside from that the week was pretty uneventful, so let's look back at 2014! 2014 was a pretty big year in my life, probably even my biggest. It started off fairly normally with me just going to school and doing school things like coursework, GDSoc, tutoring, research, etc. Same old, same old.

Things really started ramping up though in about April when I finished my final semester of my undergrad. That was a pretty big milestone I think because hey, I graduated and got my bachelors. That also meant I could give myself an excuse to travel and so I went on my grad trip.

Aww yea Hong Kong.

That trip was really fun. I went to Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. I've been to Hong Kong many times but it's always nice to go back. That time I went to a few places I haven't been before too, so it was fun. It was also nice to see some of my friends again since it's been two years since my internship.

Following Hong Kong I went to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima in Japan. That was probably my most tiring leg of my trip, but also probably the most fun. I'm a big fan of Japanese media so getting to see all that was fantastic. Add onto that all the traditional and culture sights, and it was wonderful.

Really need to go back to this restaurant someday.

After that I went to Korea, but I'm gonna talk more about Korea later anyways so I'll save that for later. After I came back from my grad trip I went and started working at Digital Leisure, a small game dev company based in Aurora.

That was a cool experience too. It was my first full time job, and despite only working there for a few months I gained a lot from it. I learned a lot about how a small game dev company works, managed to learn a lot of new things, and obviously the money I got was nice too.

Apparently I didn't take any pictures of the office. Here's a screenshot of a project I worked on.

Then comes Korea. At the end of August I quit my job and moved to Korea after accepting the Korean Government Scholarship Program. I wanted to travel more and it's my goal to learn more languages, so I figured this would be a great opportunity for me.

And it has been. I've been having a great time here in Korea. Korean classes every day have been kind of a drag sometimes and the dorm kinda sucks, but aside from that it has been a wonderful experience.

It was slightly less wonderful after I found out the level 3 book is shorter than the rest. Come on QA guy, come on.

Just by reading this blog you can tell what's been up with my life since coming here. I'm pretty excited for what's coming up next. Will I be conversationally fluent in Korean in 8 months time? Will I pass TOPIK 3? If so, how will my masters be? Also, will I get a chance to travel more?

All this and more, in 2015.