Sunday, April 24, 2016

KGSP - Midterm Events

It's midterm season again. This time I actually have midterms too. I haven't had midterms in forever and it reminded me of how much I hate exams. Really, I'm not a big fan of exams as an evaluation method for learning.

But that's a rant for a different time. Regardless, it was my first time doing midterms at KAIST and I didn't really know what to expect. I studied, but I didn't memorize. Which was a shame because memorization was a big part of the exams.

Oh well, at least the flowers are nice now.

Exams suck. However because it is exam season, it also means that I have less classes this week. If I don't have exams, I have class off. This is good because I also hate classes. So more time outside of class means I can catch up with stuff I want to do, and spend some time working on lab stuff.

Lab stuff is going alright. The paper I submitted got revised and so now that's done for good. All that's left is to wait for it to be published and do my presentation. Feels good to have my first publication as an affiliate of KAIST.

Nothing amazing, but it's a start.

Outside of school it's been alright. Did a major cleanup of my room yesterday but already the floor is covered in hair again. I honestly never knew I shed this much until I started to actually clean the floors.

On Friday there was a performance by the Chungnam University orchestra. That school is really close to KAIST so I went to check it out. It was pretty interesting. More interesting than the ballet thing I went to a month ago.

Sitting in the front cause no one else wants to aw yea.

But yea, the last week or two have been pretty grim. Now that midterms are over I get a bit of a breather, but considering how time flies next thing I know it'll be the end of the semester crunch again.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

KGSP - Pre-Midterm Woes

This upcoming week is midterm week. As it result it means that I didn't really do too much this week aside from (trying to) studying and working on random stuff. One of my classes was supposed to move their midterm to May, but then last week the professor changed his mind.

So now all of a sudden I have two midterms this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. This past week has been pretty bleak. I didn't have any exams at all last semester so as far as evaluations that actually matter goes, it's been a while.

It's also been a while since I've done manual physics, calculus or linear algebra.

I'm not really looking forward to exams. I'm not very good at studying for exams. Honestly I only did as well as I did back at UOIT because the courses were structured in a way that I didn't really need to study. Doing my projects was enough to get me the knowledge I need for the exam.

But of course it's different in Korea. So far it seems like in all my classes it's either painfully theoretical or entirely practical. I'm normally a big fan of practical stuff, but not when they ask me to make random physical prototypes. Theoretical stuff is a whole new dimension of suck though.

Seriously, memorizing formulas and doing quaternion math by hand. What is this high school?

Aside from midterms I got news that for the paper I submitted to that domestic conference got accepted. I just need to fix up the paper a bit  based on their feedback and then it should be ok. That means it'll be my first publication at KAIST and I'll have to give a presentation in Seoul.

That's kinda cool I guess. I'm not exactly super enthused about the work or the conference, but everyone has to start from somewhere right? Just gotta hang in there and keep on chugging along I guess.

All the cherry blossom trees gave up but this one stayed strong one extra week. Inspiring.

But yea I dunno. Time is passing and I'm just waiting until the semester ends. Hopefully once midterms are over I'll have some time to do some more interesting stuff again. I hate studying.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

KGSP - And Suddenly Cherry Blossoms

So this week was action packed. This was apparently the cherry blossom week and apparently everyone decided to hold events and parties and stuff this week because this is probably the most beautiful week in Korea.

Like seriously, cherry blossoms are amazing flowers. Korea has some nice landscapes, but to be honest they're all mostly the same. Some mountains, some forests, some water. It's nice, but you get used to it. But the moment those pinkish white flowers bloom..

Boom, flowers.

It's just, really nice. Spring is definitely the season for growth and new beginnings, but this feeling is even stronger when the cherry blossoms are out. The one week where they bloom might be the one week where the maple tree is displaced as my favourite tree.

The flowers just look nice and it's a bit reinvigorating. But alas, they only last a week and already most of the flowers are on the ground, decaying into an ugly brown mush. It's a bit tragic actually, but the trees spend so much energy to bloom, and then the petals end up just feeding back into the tree.

This lounge on the way to the lab has never been nicer.

And yea, so all of the festivities were this week. KAIST loves their strawberries and picnics and stuff, so this week I went to a few events where I just kinda ate outside next to the trees. The department had a Spring party and the theme was magenta so people wore a lot of pink.

They also had free meat and beer, which is always a plus in my books. And since strawberries are in season people are going insane at selling them. I've went to picnics with strawberries, tea parties with strawberries, and even just straight up went to a strawberry party.

Literally had more strawberries this week than probably the last few years.

To top it all off, KAIST even had an event on Canada this week where they had a presentation followed by some "traditional Canadian food". There is apparently not that many Canadians at KAIST so they only had two guys doing the presentation.

I was never approached to help out so I didn't, but I went to check out the presentation, won some maple cookies and ate some of the food. The food itself was meh, wasn't very exciting or good, but they tried to make the presentation interesting and I did actually have a good time.

Featuring a Montreal dude wearing a Leafs jersey.

KAIST even had a music and arts festival, but I didn't go to that. Instead, I went to Seoul yesterday to celebrate some birthdays. I find that I've been going to Seoul a lot. I don't really want to because it kills a lot of time, energy and money, but I keep finding myself in Seoul.

Sure, I have a lot of fun when I'm there. It's nice seeing all my friends again and actually hanging out and being social. But at the same time, I hate that freaking train. I've taken that train too many times and now I don't like it.

But only in Seoul can you find an arcade in a bar.

This week kinda exploded in activities. I kinda wish they were spread out a bit, but it's pretty much out of my control. Things should be back to normal in the coming week so we'll see how it goes.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

KGSP - Spring Bloom

So it's been Spring for a while, but it's like, actually Spring now. All the flowers on the trees are blooming and the weather is nice and warm now. Atmosphere of the place is definitely a lot better now now that there's more life going on.

Sometime last week the magnolias started to bloom and that was pretty nice. Apparently a lot of the tress on campus are flowering trees, so all the flowers are coming out and it looks pretty nice. I really like the magnolias but they're slowly falling now.

Magnolias on campus.

But when they fall, the cherry blossoms rise. The last few days they started to bloom and I would say today or yesterday was when they fully bloomed. Just like last year, they look really nice. Pinkish white and kinda fluffy looking on the trees.

I'm not gonna lie, Spring in Korea looks nicer than Spring in Canada. It's nice biking to school everyday and seeing all the nice flowers. The campus looks nice, the river looks nice, everything looks nice.

Too bad the weather was cloudy today.

Aside from Spring stuff this week was alright. Spent most of my time either working on class work as usual or working on this paper I just submitted to this conference. Not sure how I feel about this paper, but it's the first one I've worked on that was submitted to a conference, so we'll see.

It's not a very big conference and the whole process was kinda sketchy. Hopefully my submission was actually submitted properly, I need to check and tomorrow. Would be nice if they accepted it, but if they do I have to do a presentation on it.

Yea this is a thing.

The entire thing is wierd really, so we'll see how that goes. Outside of school I also went to Suwon yesterday to play some Magic. We went to play Shadows of Innistrad prerelease there instead of Seoul because a friend of mine said the people at that shop were nicer.

There were more foreigners there but not sure if they were nicer. Regardless, I opened bad cards but managed to do really well regardless. Ended up going 4:0 in matches and so I was quite happy about that. Despite not getting anything good it was fun.

Aw yea, Planeswalker Points achievements.

This week was alright I guess. Lots of events going on this upcoming week so it might be more interesting.