Sunday, February 28, 2016

KGSP - The Calm Between the Hectic

I was going to call this one the calm before the storm, but I wasn't sure if I already used that title. Plus I realized that technically this was a calm before and after some hectic activities, so I decided to change the title.

Anyways, this week was a bit interesting. First of all, I got back from my two week vacation. That was really fun. I'm not gonna go into it right now, I might in a future blog post (I will really try to), but essentially I went to Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

This was last week. I already miss it.

I'm considering starting a new blog cause I got my own domain. If I do I'll update this one for the duration of my KGSP adventure with my weekly posts as usual and the other one I'll use for more detailed posts about random things, mostly about travelling and life I guess.

But until then, this one will suffice. My vacation was fun, but it was also really tiring. So even though I just got back from my vacation, I already need a rest. The week was me kinda just settling back into the lab mood and get working again.

Lab mate gave me this mousepad. The emoticon expresses my mood quite well.

Working sucks. School sucks. I just want to like, not do any of that. Unfortunately, responsibilities are a thing. This coming week is the start of the new semester. My second semester of Masters. It's going to suck. I'm taking four courses and have actual lab work this time around.

Not looking forward to it. Luckily I have a long weekend because it's KAIST's foundation day, so Monday and Tuesday are holidays and Wednesday is when everything starts up again. I had a friend come visit as well, so I spent the last two days kinda just hanging out.

We went to a dog cafe. The dogs secrete everywhere.

I'm really not looking forward to the coming semester. When is my next vacation?

Monday, February 8, 2016

KGSP - Pre-Vacation Rush

This is a Monday blog post, but I have a fairly good reason this time. On Saturday I got on a plane and I'm now in Hong Kong. It's Chinese New Year so I figured it would be the perfect time to take some time off from the lab and get out of Korea.

I'll probably write about my vacation in some future blog entries. I might do something different though, not sure. Regardless, the week leading up to my vacation was pretty ok too. It was mostly a pretty big rush though.

All because of these guys.

Since I'm in HK and I'm currently writing this blog through tethering my phone, I'm going to keep this short. Essentially I had to finish some work before I left for vacation so I spent a lot of time working on that this week.

And for some reason our professor decided to have a tea party on Friday so we had that. It was pretty random but I guess it broke up the day a bit. Regardless, lots of work await me when I go back cause the semester will be starting soon, and so will our project work.

Monday, February 1, 2016

KGSP - HCI Korea 2016

This week was a bit more interesting. HCI Korea 2016 was held in Gangwon-do so the lab went there for the duration of the event. That was cool as this was my first real excursion with the lab. Despite it still being in Korea, it was in a part I haven't been to.

Turns out that part was literally the middle of nowhere. Just a small resort area nestled away in the mountains, but that was fine. The resort itself was really nice. There were ski facilities, a hotel, a casino as well as a bunch other random stuff.

The area was called Gohan, which I thought was awesome.

Getting there was kind of a pain since it was the middle of nowhere, but we got there. The conference itself was alright. Nothing too special, kind of just your standard conference. It's Korea's biggest HCI conference but unfortunately that also meant the vast majority of the talks were in Korean.

I tried to follow along to them, but it's very difficult considering my Korean isn't that good. Plus the use of technical vocabulary doesn't help either. Two of the three keynotes were in English though, so that was really nice.

The fabrication talk was especially cool.

Considering how the conference was at a resort it only made sense to take advantage of the facilities too. As a result I ended up going skiing as well. It's been a long time since I went skiing so I was really looking forward to it.

Luckily I wasn't too rusty so I could still actually ski. That was good because the slopes were quite nice. They were big slopes so it was fun to actually like, ski. I mostly stuck to the beginning slopes though, but for my last run I went up to the intermediate one.

I've been living in this country for like a year and a half but I'm still in awe at the mountains sometimes.

Skiing was fun. Would love to do it again. Afterwards I went to the casino with my lab mates too. Apparently in Korea it is illegal for Koreans to go to casinos except for this one specific one at this resort, so my lab mates have never been to one before.

I don't normally go to casinos either, but at the very least I've been in them before so I showed them how to play the slots and stuff. It was great because foreigners don't even have to pay an entry fee and yet the Koreans do.

I put in 11k, got 35k out. Successful.

But yea, overall it was a pretty fun trip. I wish I could understand a bit more of the talks, but it was still a good time. The resort was really nice. Wish we could've stayed there longer haha. Granted it was pretty expensive.

I don't have anything planned for this week, but I'm going to Hong Kong on Saturday. I took two weeks off from the lab so I'll be away from Korea. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with blog posts so we'll see I guess.