Old News

This is a picture of my Level 2 class. If you want to see a picture that's twice as big (four times as much surface area), visit the photo gallery!
November 5, 2006
I should not be doing an update today. There is too much to be done. I only have nine more days to beat Final Fantasy III (and it's more time-consuming than expected). I have a lot of Korean to study, including some catch-up work that I won't finish tonight. Even if I am on top of my studying and gaming, I need to be finding a legal way to make money. Life is never dull!

Jeongja sent me this class picture, along with another that was almost 100% identical, but depicted my left arm twisted in a really odd position, so I didn't post it. Click here to see the class picture in greater detail!

There it is -- the Nintendo DS Lite that Kyungwon lent me, running FF3. I can't wait until tomorrow when I can really sink my teeth into it.

November 2, 2006
Well, isn't this website a fabulous time sucker? I renovated the photo galleries slightly. All the photos are still there, but I moved all the class photos onto a separate page. I did this because some people only want to see the class photos, and it's unfair to make them navigate through pictures of roofs, sacks of potatoes, and $7 haircuts just to find pictures of classes at Yonsei.

On an unrelated note, Kyungwon recently loaned me a Nintendo DS Lite with Final Fantasy III! I have only 11 days to finish it before it comes out in English, but I believe that I can accomplish the feat. If you know me well, then you know this: I have a hobby of obtaining Final Fantasies before their English release and beating them. I was going to pass on FF3 because I wasn't sure which would win the handheld console war (DS or PSP), but you can't say no to free. Kyungwon, thanks a million for loaning me the DS!

Listening: 78% (C)
Writing: 82.9% (B)
Reading: 96% (A)
Speaking: 87.6% (B, composed of test [87%, B] and dialogue with partner [90%, A])
Overall (a weighted average): 85.46% (B)

November 1, 2006
Before I get into a grade spiel, I will write my first paragraph about some things that are actually interesting to other people who aren't me. Today, I woke up, went to class, found out that we are getting all new teachers (a new general instructor and a new reading instructor), I learned that our now-former general instructor is pregnant, I went with my friends to the "student restaurant" which has some very good meals available for a mere 2,500 won ($2.65), and then went to the noraebang and practiced "Sarangseureoweo" which is this happy little tune that was obviously picked out by, quite literally, Japanese schoolgirls. We are practicing this song because on November 11, there will be (yes, you guessed it), an amateur singing contest. The girls are going all out. They got this plastic material on a spool and handed it out to us and we were all making pom-poms with said material. Presumably, the red ones are for the girls and the blue ones are for the guys. Okay, thank goodness, my pom-pom is blue, so I can feel masculine.

I got my scores back today. Overall, not counting my participation grade, which is worth 20% of the final grade, I have an 85.46%. This is 1.54% below my goal, which isn't an astronomical disappointment, just a small one. More importantly, I beat at least one Japanese person! Basically, today, I learned that I need to work a little smarter, but at least I'm on the board, and even though I'm in a tiny minority of Westerners, I may have a shot at one day being really good at Korean.

First of all, my reading score was awesome (96%). Reading is only 20% of the final grade, so perhaps I should stop placing as much emphasis on it, because I do well at it, and even if I didn't, it's worth only 2/3 as much as the big guys, speaking and listening (30% each). I got an 87.6% on speaking. That's above my goal of 87%, so I won't worry about that too much, either. I was tired that day, and for whatever reason, I wasn't unleashing my best Korean.

An 82.9% on writing?! That's preposterous. I'm a good writer. However, most of the mistakes that I made, when I looked at that test, were ones that I could have avoided had I known a few more grammatical nuances. Interestingly enough, I don't think the -daga grammar that I've been complaining about bit me in the butt a single time -- it was the "is it right to do [blah blah blah]" grammar. If I'd just gotten those questions right, I bet I could have met my 87% overall goal on the midterm: to shame! I think I should shift more emphasis to proper writing: use more controversial grammar in my diaries and actually look at the teacher's corrections and such. This seems to be a score that I could easily bring up.

Okay, here's the real killer: a 78% on listening. Sadly, I had expected listening to be my lowest score, but I hadn't thought it would be quite this low. My practice exams all pointed at a B. I believe that the listening test was harder than the practice tests, which isn't how school should be. According to Teacher Lee, people in the class didn't do very well on the listening test. Maybe I just got unlucky, but it's time that I start working on listening even harder than I have been -- from now on, one hour of radio a day AND the tapes.

In summary, I didn't bomb, and normally, a B would be fine. However, if I get an A in the course, it will ensure two things: it will ensure that I'm capable of improvement and not just a downward spiral, and it will allow me possible access to the 50% discount off the tuition fee for next term. Well, there you have it.

Water Cooler
The photograph of a water cooler is an essential feature of any geek's website. Optimally, the water cooler is in the geek's home or office, and has a webcam constantly pointed at it, providing a live feed. Due to monetary and bandwidth constraints, I have chosen a still image instead.
October 30, 2006


On and unrelated note, we had the listening comprehension midterm today, which was ridiculously hard. It was definitely harder than all four practice exams leading up to it, so I feel like we weren't sufficiently prepared.

Here is a screen shot taken from a ROM of a game that I own legally (Phantasy Star II). I must say, I love the atmosphere in this game, even if the gameplay is extremely tedious and outdated. When you play, you feel like you're in a socialist utopia, and there is a definite hint of 80s Asian sci-fi. I have played few other games, if any, that have this atmosphere, and that is the only reason I keep playing it.
October 29, 2006
Well, this has been one crazy week. First of all, I started my midterms. There are three days of midterms. The first is Friday, and Monday and Tuesday are also occupied by midterms. This may be okay at a normal college, but considering that I'm taking just one really big class, I believe three days is excessive. This class is hard, so my midterm goal is modest: 87%. If I get an 87% on midterms, a 91% on finals, and a 95% of participation, that'll average out to a 90.2% ('A').

As for other important news, I upgraded the RAM in my PC from 64 megabytes to 384 megabytes. Needless to say, this Windows XP box now runs *a little bit* faster. I can finally play Phantasy Star II again. Notice the screen shot that I took, to the left. Yes, I'm Level 17 now, not Level 16. That should prove to you that it is now playable enough to gain a level.

This week also housed my birthday (October 24). I wish I could say I did something awesome, but preparing for the midterm took priority. I will have a real celebration after the midterm is over. However, the family did do their best to make it a happy birthday.

Finally, I decided that the main page of this site was too cluttered, so I made some changes. I moved the first 10 news updates to a page titled "Old News." I also deleted the page statistics, which some people felt was weird and irrelevant. It was a real pain to update those statistics, too, so I agreed with the people that page statistics could go.