Sunday, November 27, 2016

KGSP - Winter is Here

Even though it's technically not winter yet, it's certainly feeling like it. The temperature in the last few weeks have been in the single digits, dropping below zero during the night. But, as we all know it's not really winter until it starts to snow.

And snow it did. We had first snow a few days ago and despite it not accumulating at all, it was still nice to see snow. I missed it a bit. Too bad it doesn't really accumulate here in Korea. I wouldn't mind it being like 5 degrees colder or something if it did stick around.

Snow is also notoriously hard to capture in a camera from a distance.

So yea, it's starting to feel cold. Other than that, this week has probably been the most "graduate student"-esque in a while. I was conducting user studies and working on thesis presentations and stuff so that's been different.

One of the classes I'm taking is a Game Studies class and we ended up deciding to do a study on the GUI of League of Legends. Which is like, ok I guess. I'm not the biggest fan of League of Legends, but the study itself is kinda interesting.

I'm getting kind of sick of watching it over and over again though.

The big thing though is that my thesis topic presentation is coming up. Overall it's not too exciting, but it's the beginning of the long process of actually doing my thesis. The first thing is just presenting about what I actually want to do my thesis on.

I'm pretty excited about it actually. For one, I'll be using the HoloLens which is like my favourite device right now, and it's also gaming related which is always a plus. I'm a bit worried about the work load though, since I have a lot of stuff to do in addition to my thesis.

It's gonna be explosive.

I still need to prepare my presentation a bit though. Slides are done but I need to make sure I don't go over the time limit. Which is tough because I need to talk slowly because my normal talking speed is apparently too fast.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

KGSP - One OK (Rock) Weekend

So despite having my thesis topic presentation coming up alongside a bunch of the end of the semester work shenanigans, and aside from the fact that I went to Seoul last weekend already, I went to Seoul again this weekend.

The week itself was pretty bland. I held some workshops for a study I'm doing for a class, and made some serious progress on my lab work. But I feel like my thesis work and my other classes work is falling behind a bit. Hopefully this will not be a problem.

Pictured, watching League of Legends (ugh) for science.

But by far the best part of the week was the weekend. I had three friends who all have their birthdays in November, and since everyone was busy with school and stuff they couldn't properly celebrate their birthdays. As a result, they decided to hold one party on Friday.

So I left the lab early and made it to Seoul to go hang out with them. That was a really fun night actually. It's been a while since I've seen a lot of my friends in Seoul so being able to just hang out was really refreshing.

We had sparklers for some reason.

Needless to say it was a tiring night. But the next day, Saturday, I went to do some shopping because Daejeon sucks for shopping and I wanted new clothes. After that I went to a concert that I've been looking forward to for a while.

One OK Rock, a Japanese rock band, is a band that I've been following for years, and I really like their music. Their style is a bit different from a lot of the other music I listen to, but they're up there on my list of favourite bands. And, they're big enough that they actually play in Korea!

Unlike pretty much any other Japanese band I listen to who never leave Japan.

I just think it's kind of funny because people ask me if I've been to Kpop concerts in Korea. I tell them no, but now I can also tell them the only concerts I've actually gone to are Korean metal concerts and Japanese rock concerts. I roll against the grain like that.

It was by far the biggest concert I've been to. I'm used to like, sketchy concert venues in the middle of a warehouse district or some random basement in a tattoo building or something. Some dark grimy place that fits like 50 people max. This was not this type of concert.

I think this fits 3000?

I couldn't get standing tickets, and in fact, I couldn't even really get good tickets. But still, being at the concert is still better than not. And the silver lining was that despite the hall being big, it wasn't that big.

It was a pretty amazing concert overall. People cheered so loud, granted I guess that with 3000 of them it should be loud. The production quality of the concert was so great too, granted I guess that's what happens when tickets are a hundred bucks each.

Pretty epic stuff really.

The band played all the songs that I liked, and he played the crowd pretty well too, throwing in the random word or phrase in Korean too. But the weirdest part was that despite the vocalist's English being pretty top tier, he spent most of the time talking in Japanese.

Which is like, yea I get it. You're Japanese and it's your native language. But people in Korea don't (normally) speak Japanese. But, there were a lot of Japanese people at the concert. The last time I saw so many Japanese people I was actually in Japan.

Such a good show.

Overall it was a pretty good show and a great way to mark my last night in Seoul. I probably won't be going back to Seoul until the semester is over, so it was the last hurrah I guess. I really need to start working on stuff more.

Oh, speaking of work. My old lab keyboard was causing discomfort because I type too much and having the keypad throws off the angle of my arms so I asked for a new keyboard. They obliged so I ordered a Razer Blackwidow Chroma.

Click. So. Click. Many. Click. Colours. Click.

So overall this was a pretty great week actually.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

KGSP - Global Connections

After the festivities of last week, this week at the department was pretty uneventful. Just working on stuff as usual. However, I was tasked to export all the videos from the design forum last week, so I had to like, export nine hours of video over the week.

So when that happens my computer is working pretty hard so I didn't really have the chance to work on any of my programming. I feel like I'm falling dangerously behind on my project work. The upcoming month or two is not going to be fun.

But hey, free food for exporting videos.

Other than that I've been working a bit on my portfolio a bit more. I've come to the realization that I need to update my portfolio a bit since it's getting to the point where I should be looking for jobs again. Applying for jobs is never fun, but gotta do it right?

Speaking of jobs, I had two friends take some time off work and come to Korea for the weekend. I went up to Seoul on Saturday to go meet them and hung out with them before coming back to Daejeon today.

A selfie latte is very necessary.

Both of the guys that came to visit are very well-traveled. They're always out and about and always post pictures of them in random places in the world on Facebook. One of them is up to sixty something countries and the other is in the forties.

Much more than the teens that I'm currently in. As usual, it's always nice to see people from home. Just being able to talk a bit more about the past is nice, even though that sounds like a super old thing to say.

I found this KAIST optical shop in Seoul. Why does this exist.

We just kinda went sightseeing for a bit. It was their first time in Korea so I just kinda showed them around and introduced them to Korea. They seemed to like it though, which is good. Especially since they've been to so many places and still think Seoul is a cool place.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

KGSP - IDKAIST 30th Anniversary

After coming back from Dubai, I really wanted to (well not really, but) just work on my ongoing projects. I got ahead of my school work prior to going to Dubai, but after coming back I've realized that it's caught up to me again, so I once again have homework.

Not only that, but Thursday to Saturday marked the 30th anniversary celebrations for my department. Since turning 30 is a big deal, they decided to have celebrations that required the attendance of the graduate students.

Day 1: A design forum.

The first day, Thursday, was a design forum where they invited a bunch of people from around the world to join in on some discussions about design. It was ok I guess. The highlight for me though, was the 6000원 discount coupon they gave us for the school cafeteria.

It was still cafeteria food, but hey, free food. Plus there was enough to cover both my meal and two slices of cake, which made it totally worth it. Day 2 marked the official grand opening of the new lounge on the first floor of our department.

Complete with ribbon cutting and everything.

The lounge was under construction for months now, so having it officially be over with was great. I was tired of the construction. The lounge itself is pretty neat too. The layout is a bit weird, but the space is pretty comfortable. I could see myself using it sometimes.

The highlight of the day once again was the food. They had an all you can eat buffet for the faculty, students, and guest. It was pretty fancy looking food too. Plus they had a table full of wine and champagne, so it was overall a pretty good lunch.

Free fancy food and wine. I am very ok with this.

Finally, day 3 was homecoming, with alumni from IDKAIST's 30 year history showing up and reminiscing about the past and checking out what the department is doing now. There were short demo sessions too where I had to demo someone else's project.

But between the demo sessions was another bout of free food. This time, it was more Korean style food and they got the owners of one of the craft beer places to distribute beer. So again, free food and free craft beer for lunch. These are the school events that I am ok with.

I wish we had these type of meals more often.

Seeing all these alumni show up was an interesting experience. For one, a lot of them did more than one level of education at KAIST, like bachelors and masters, or some even all the way up to PhD. And since it's been 30 years there's a lot of parents now too and they brought their kids.

That's very different than the experience I had at UOIT, seeing how the school is barely a teenager. It was interesting to see all these people reflect on fond memories and even have a chance to bring their family to check out what was essentially an important episode in their lives.

I didn't win anything in the raffle unfortunately.

It really made me think about the relationship I have with KAIST and the industrial design department. If UOIT had an alumni event (and they did), I would go to it (but I didn't because I'm in Korea). If KAIST invited me to one X years down the line, would I?

Excluding the fact that I might not even be in Korea X years down the line, I'm not sure. The event made me kinda realize that I'm not really all that attached to this school. I mean yea, IDKAIST is alright, but there are definitely less positive emotions when compared to UOITGameDev.

But I got to throw a small bag of beans at some random confetti filled container at KAIST.

I dunno. I guess I just felt like I was more a part of the community at UOIT. There's definitely a big difference in that regard.