Sunday, January 29, 2017

KGSP - Sick Seollal

So we are currently in the midst of Chinese New Year! Korea celebrates it as well as Seollal, and it's one of the two major holidays in Korea. It's a pretty wonderful time because it means we get Friday and Monday off as well, meaning we get a long weekend.

It's even better too because KAIST has their foundation day on the coming Tuesday which means it's effectively a five day weekend. Which is great. However, my luck is apparently pretty bad because I managed to get a cold since like Friday or Saturday.

I blame walking around in the cold.

So I mean, I was planning on mostly going to the lab anyways during this time, but having holiday time means I can sleep in guilt-free and just go to the lab whenever to get my work done. But since I'm sick it means that I'm tired and miserable even with the extra sleep.

Aside from Seollal and me being sick, this week was actually quite.. sick. Unfortunately the only picture I took this week worth sharing was the one I already have above, and I don't really have the energy to search up random pictures from the Internet to make it up.

So as a result the rest of this blog post is going to just be text. I don't normally deviate from my standard two paragraph one picture structure, but this week is special.

First things first, Pokemon Go finally came out in Korea! Pokemon Go was huge when it first came out but you couldn't play in Korea because of Korean laws regulating the use of mapping applications. So while everyone everywhere was playing, I was stuck just observing from the sidelines.

But now it's actually out in Korea. Like six months after everyone else. It's been such a big delay that no one even really talks about it anymore. Regardless, the Koreans (and myself) are pretty into it now. The fact that there was such a delay is a bit jarring, but it's still kinda neat.

To be honest the game isn't all that fun, but it's a bit addictive to just walk around and collect Pokemon. I'm fairly certain that's why I got sick actually, since I went and walked around catching Pokemon for a couple hours and I guess my outfits aren't designed for that duration of outsideness.

I also had some friends come visit me in Daejeon this week. On Wednsday two of my high school friends came to Daejeon. The three of us all ended up living in Korea but we haven't had the chance to meet up. Since they had some time off they came down to visit.

That was pretty nice. I'm pretty bad with keeping in touch with pre-university friends and so I haven't see these two people since we graduated. Catching up was pretty nice. Weird though, since Korea is kind of a random place to do a reunion.

Yesterday saw the visit of a few more friends from Seoul. Again, since they have some time off, they decided to rent a car and just drive around Korea. They figured they would visit me in Daejeon too which was nice. Unfortunately, I'm sick so I couldn't really enjoy the time.

Regardless, I appreciated the gesture. I just need to like, focus on not being sick right now though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

KGSP - A Taiwanese Break

So I took a few days off from the lab and on Thursday went to Taiwan. I came back to Korea yesterday, but I was pretty tired and didn't get to making a blog post for the week, so here's the first Tuesday post of 2017.

I'll go more in depth into my experience of the trip over on my other blog eventually, so I'll keep this one relatively brief and if you are interested please check that blog for updates! I'll probably end up writing it within the next week or two.

Taipei 101, the landmark building of Taiwan.

The entire trip was a Thursday to Monday deal so it wasn't a very long trip, but it was worth it because I just really needed some time off from the lab. I've been very busy for a while now and didn't really have much time to rest.

The original plan was to go on the trip after my current lab project was finished, but since that deadline got pushed back, my trip ended up being at an awkward time. Regardless, it was nice to have some time off from the lab.

Granted it was still super tiring to just wake up early, walk around, and do things.

The entire trip was pretty much just a bunch of sightseeing around Taipei and its surrounding areas while eating a bunch of non-Korean food. Man, have I ever mentioned how much I love Chinese food? Chinese food is easily the best food ever, with Japanese food being second.

And lo and behold Taiwan is full of Chinese and Japanese food. Such a wonderful place to indulge in food. Wasn't even really expensive either, which makes it all the better. Especially since I've been eating cafeteria food for so long.

Night market food is pretty good too.

So I would say that was definitely the bulk of the week. The few days leading up the trip was very uneventful. Not really motivating to work after having a deadline changed on you so quick, especially with an upcoming trip in the very near distance.

This week seems like it'll be more of a lull-week too actually, since it's the Lunar New Year this weekend.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

KGSP - DIS Project

So back in March of last year, I got assigned a project at my lab. It wasn't really a project that I had much interest in, but it was something that could develop my skills and allow me to explore new forms of technology I didn't have much experience in, so in a way it was good.

Originally it was supposed to go on for half a year, but we decided to change the direction of the project halfway through development so it ended up getting pushed into this month for a different conference.


Specifically DIS conference (DIS).

So me and my team worked quite hard to get the project ready for the submission to this conference. It's been a long and tiring few weeks of doing user studies, data analysis, and preparing to write the paper.

But suddenly our professor changes his mind and decides to delay the submission to the next conference. Now, his reasons are fair, because despite putting a lot of time into the project, the time frame we had to work with was short, so we probably would have a stronger submission if we delayed.

I don't have a picture related to this project I want to share so here's some dirty tap water. Which I guess is related in some ways.

This decision really bugs me. Because he could've easily decided to tell us a week or two earlier but he ended up telling us a day and a half before the conference deadline. Not only does it mess with our plans and schedule for the rest of the winter break, it really is kind of disheartening.

I mean, I've been putting 60 - 70 hour weeks in the lab for like, a month now. And then it turns out that all this time I could've taken it a bit easier and taken a bit more time with the work instead of powering through it at the cost of sleep and free time.

One of my teammate's last day was today. She gave me a comic about hope.

Like the last month has been pretty brutal. I've been working on tiring projects for years now but this project has taken so much out of me both physically and mentally. It's been stressful enough that I was actually glad the project was coming to end, but now it continues for another month.

Yea, it's only another month, but I still need to start my thesis project and my time is running out on that too. It would've been so nice to just put this project behind me and just focus on my thesis project which is actually integral to my studies.

I also bought a small rack today for a light. But I didn't notice it was slanted because it's for shoes. Salt in wounds etc etc.

So yea, I'm a bit annoyed and just wanted to vent a bit. This clogs up my schedule somewhat but it's just another obstacle I have to overcome. I should be fine I think. Just gotta do as much as I can and hope for the best right?

Anyways, on a more positive note, I'm heading to Taiwan on Thursday for a few days so my next post will be a bit delayed. It was supposed to be a celebratory trip after the project finishes, but regardless I need some time off from the lab or I'm going to go insane.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

KGSP - DIS Week

Well 2017 is off to a wonderful start. Aside from New Year's Day where I just stayed in my room to relax and watch shows and play video games all day, I've been doing 8 - 13 hours a day in the lab every day since.

It's been a pretty busy weekend because we have a conference deadline coming up very soon. The lab project that I've been working on since March is finally coming to an end (assuming there's no follow ups..) and all that's left is this submission.

I also got my choice of one weird chocolate bar.

So all in all it really sucks. I'll be glad when this project is over cause honestly I got sick of it months ago and now it's just.. so tiring and brain melting. I'm not really sure how this paper is gonna do once we submit it, but hey, who knows.

It just sucks that it's at the start of the year during our winter vacation. On one hand it's good cause I can focus on it, but on the other hand I really wanted to rest for a bit after the semester ended you know?

We also cleaned out the lab fridge and when we were de-icing it.. found an ancient fridge.

Actually that's pretty much been my week. I literally have done nothing else this week except just go to the lab and then go home. It's been a pretty sad week. I kinda have a headache from staring at code and data for so many hours everyday, but hopefully it'll be over soon.

Monday, January 2, 2017

KGSP - 2017 Begins

So yesterday marked the beginning of 2017. Yesterday was also a Sunday and so I'm not really starting off the year right as I'm doing a Monday post literally as my first post of the year. To be fair though, it's cause I was doing a recap of my year over on my new blog.

Since I've already covered my thoughts of the previous year and some of my plans for the new year over there, I'm not going to go over them here. Instead, it'll just be a standard "what I did this week" type of post.

My last meal of 2016.

The week between Christmas and New Year is always kind of an awkward week. You're still in holiday mode from Christmas, and with another holiday coming up, it doesn't feel very productive. It doesn't help that my supervisor was away the week too, but we kept busy.

On Boxing Day, I Skyped my family and opened presents together. It's been a family tradition to open gifts together on Christmas but since I'm away I have to do so via webcam instead. It's always nice to get gifts from home. I also had a small box of stuff from a Japanese friend of mine to open too.

Yes, I also got a fish.

Safe to say that my snack cabinet is sufficiently filled again. I also got a bunch of other random stuff like new clothes and a toy that I paid for, but had to get forwarded to me. Hopefully I can celebrate Christmas at home next year.

Back in the lab, this week was different because we started user studies. The lab project I've been working on since March is finally coming to a close (hopefully) and we're on the last step. Before we can submit a paper to a conference though, we needed to conduct some research.

I also need to conduct research on how to properly use this hair spray.

New Year's Eve was pretty standard. Just food, drinks, and counting down. Obviously the changing of the year doesn't really mean too much in the grand scheme of things, but here's hoping that this next rotation of the Earth goes better than the last.