Sunday, September 25, 2016

KGSP - Fun in the Frenzy

This last week has been pretty brutal. I've slowly realized over the last few weeks how much work I actually have to do, and how much time is actually remaining. It always seems like a lot of time when you first have to do something, but then time passes and kinda just slaps you in the face.

As a result I've been trying to spend more time working, mostly because I just need to get stuff done. Classes don't really help either since they just clog up your time with lectures and homework. But you know, life goes on.

Unlike my bike's pedal, which after taking this picture broke in half after a sharp turn.

Regardless, I've been trying to have fun when I can because life is no fun without fun. All this week there has been festivities going on around campus because there's the yearly competition with POSTECH, the school I was also accepted to but turned down cause KAIST is best.

I didn't go to any of those festivities. However I heard them from my spot in the lab. But on Friday I went to the Fall festival at Chungnam University, which is like a 20 - 30 minute walk from KAIST. It was like any other university festival really.

Lots of people, loud music, expensive food and drinks. Classic.

That was ok. Chilling with some friends was nice, but I couldn't stay very long. Reason being was that on Saturday, yesterday, I had plans to go to Seoul for the day to play some Magic. Yes, I know. I'm busy and poor but I still decided to make the trip out to Seoul.

Was worth it though. It was pre-release for Kaladesh and I always try to make pre-release. Despite it being an expensive ten hours in Seoul, it was really fun. And despite not doing very well in the tournament, and opening garbage, I had a good time.

My prize pack was cool though, two dark (misprinted) cards.

Wish I could've stayed longer though. But I ended up deciding to forgo the Sunday in Seoul and instead went back to Daejeon Saturday night. Missed some StarCraft action but I really do need the time to work, so alas, went back to the lab today.

In the last few years I've felt like I can manage my time and work load well. I hope this sticks true for this year too!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

KGSP - Restful Chuseok

So last week was Chuseok, the mid-autumn festival where Koreans celebrate by taking a super long weekend and do random things. I don't have family in Korea so I didn't have anything to do really. So instead I just took it easy and tried to take advantage of the time off.

I didn't go anywhere or do anything special, just the same things really. The key part of it was that I just slept more. Being a holiday meant I wasn't; expected to show up at the lab, so I normally just slept in and then went to the lab after lunch to work.

I was asked to print a picture for a mini-workshop, so I printed Deathwing.

It's honestly nice to go to the lab a bit later. Honestly I kinda prefer it. Going to the lab after lunch and then leaving after dinner is much more preferable than going to the lab before lunch and leaving before dinner.

But alas, work is work and regardless of what I want the work has to get done. Progress is being made, but I wish it was being made a bit faster. I felt like I had a lot of time but I'm feeling a bit anxious now actually.

Progress is also being made on the renovation to the department. Red door is red.

Outside of lab work I hung out with friends a few times for Chuseok. I've mostly been hanging out with a bunch of Ukrainians lately and for Chuseok they wanted to do a get together and cook some Ukrainian food.

Now I've never really had much Slavic food before in my life, let alone Ukrainian food, so I was down. They ended up making some sort of perogie dish which was kinda what I expected but also kinda not what I expected at the same time.

A very vegeteriany looking set of dishes.

It honestly was a bit bland. Good, but bland. Regardless it was nice doing something different for a chance. There's been so much cafeteria food in my life lately that I feel like meal times have lost all meaning.

Classes resume this week though, and off the top of my head I can't think of any other holiday we'll get anytime soon so it'll just be back to normal until like, Christmas. And speaking of which summer is officially over. It's like raining and kinda chilly now.

No bike and no Hearthstone means more time to look at things.

Oh, actually I almost forgot. This week also had earthquakes. Korea normally doesn't get earthquakes, but we got two in the span of 30 minutes. The first was 5.1 and the second was 5.8, both the biggest I've ever felt and the biggest in Korea ever. Pretty cool stuff, but unsettling.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

KGSP - Raising Dinosaurs

So this week I had my first week of classes for the semester. Classes were alright. I foresee a lot of reading in my near future. I'm only taking two classes this semester and I tried to take classes that weren't project based so I can use that time for my lab projects instead.

But apparently reading and taking notes takes time. Not as much as doing a project, but it wasn't going to be as leisurely as I thought it would be. My first class is a Game Studies class, which by far was the class I was most looking forward to ever.

Almost as much as I was looking forward to seeing these dinosaurs hatch.

The class content seems fun, but the professor's teaching style is not something I enjoy. Regardless, I volunteered to do a presentation on literally the first week of class, so I had to prepare that and present it in two days time. Fun stuff.

It was neat too cause apparently two of my UOIT profs wrote parts of the book. I might volunteer for those too. My other class is a Design Management class. I knew this one was going to be dry, but then after my first lecture I can tell it's gonna be even drier since it's a business class.

Not as dry as these dinosaurs though, since they're submerged in water.

Regardless, should be a nice break for doing a trillion projects. Instead, I'm just working on the two projects that have persisted for the last six months while focus on the planning stages of my thesis project.

It feels a bit weird now that the semester is in session again. All the undergraduate students are back and a lot of exchange students have arrived. And I mean a lot. There's so many non-Koreans on and around campus now it's kinda ridiculous.

And yet there are still only four dinosaurs.

Again, it's a bit weird. Especially with the exchange students because everyone knows exchange students are mostly here to play. No one really goes on exchange to study. So when I went out with some friends a few nights ago, there were just so many foreigners hanging out.

Not that that's a bad thing, but I feel a bit disconnected as a foreign student in Korea. The feeling is hard to explain though. It's kinda like I'm expected to have zero fun like a Korean student but also have all the fun like an exchange student.

As much fun as these dinosaurs really.

Aside from that though, there was just a lot of lab socializing this week. Since we got a new student I spent the first few days integrating him into our project team. Seems like a good guy and seems like a really hard worker. I like that, despite our differences.

There was also this weird event on campus where you could sign up to sleep in a tent for a night on the commons. We didn't do that but we still got a tent and used the barbecues to cook ourselves some meat and had a good lab-team-building night.

No dinosaurs here, Korea is a weird place.

Overall pretty ok week. It's Chuseok this week though so it's not a full week of class. So despite the full week we just had, we're back to not having a full week of class again.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

KGSP - The Third Birthday

So yesterday was my 24th birthday. Birthdays are a thing of course, but this one marks my third birthday in Korea. Time flies huh? Feels like just yesterday I was throwing a random party together with a random assortment of people.

Fast forward two years and some of those people are some of my best friends in Korea. But yea, by far the most interesting thing this week was just birthday celebration. But to be honest there were enough celebrations that it wasn't really a day but more like half a week.

It all started with this cake and its inverted candle placement.

Thursday was the first of September and it marked the first day of the semester. Luckily I don't have class until tomorrow though so it didn't really mean much for me. However, one of my labmates has a birthday on the first and considering mine is on the third, the others decided to do a joint celebration.

They prepared a few short games for us to play in a head-to-head competition. The winner of each round got a small gift and at the end we both got our main gift. That was really nice actually. I'm always down for fun and that was pretty fun.

I ended up getting a small V3 figure to go with my Ichigo figure.

Then on Friday I organized a get together with some of my Daejeon friends. We went to an all you can eat hot pot place and then realized for two dollars more you could also get all you can drink beer. So all you can eat and all you can drink.

I've never felt so full in my entire life. Like by the end of the night my stomach felt like it was going to implode from the sheer weight of the gravity emitted by the food and liquids it was holding. But after I woke up in the morning I digested enough food that it was ok.

My friends even made me a cake. I didn't expect the flags.

On my actual birthday I went up to Seoul to meet my other friends. It was kind of a joint celebration though since one of our friends was leaving Korea forever so the get together was just as much about her as it was me.

Which was fine anyways cause I was really tired. Regardless it was fun, despite the somewhat somber mood. We ended just doing a pretty classic night out in Korea: food, drinks, karaoke. Every time I go to Seoul I always end up even more tired than before I go, but it's worth it.

Nine people, eight countries. The count never gets old really.

And finally I capped off my weekend with an afternoon of Magic. We did a Conspiracy draft and it was also pretty fun. I had to leave early though since I needed to catch the train to Daejeon, but it was still awesome.

Overall it was a pretty great weekend. Really needed after a full month and a bit of not leaving Daejeon. Despite feeling tired still I feel refreshed in a way, perfect for the start of classes tomorrow.