Old News

November 27, 2006
Well, I have my speaking and reading exams tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I'll do all right on both of them. It's Wednesday that I'm more concerned about (writing and listening). My next update will be AFTER the finals. Do you like my Makgeolli bottle animation? It was "fun" to create.

Oh, one more thing. I paid my tuition today! Yes, that's right, I'm signed up for another term, so unless something catastrophic happens, I'm in this through Level 3. I paid my tuition in cash -- a total of 145 bills, for a total of over $1,500!

If you're under 30, you should definitely know why this example of unintentionally bad English is funny.
November 26, 2006

Today, I spotted a "Crunky" bar at the local GS 25 Mart for 500 won. For those of you who have been living in a box, "crunk" is a term that rappers use to describe being drunk and "crazy (stoned)" at the same time. I hope you enjoy this picture. The full-size version can be found in the Sinchon photo gallery.

As for other news, I went to a Thanksgiving party on the Yongsan military base on Thanksgiving. It was fun, but I didn't get any pictures, because I was in too much of a hurry to get my camera ready. On the way back from that party, I ran into Makiko, a friend from Japan, in the middle of the street! It was unbelievable. I had met her originally in Hyehwa, about six or seven miles away, and she had gone back to Japan. Then, out of the blue, I ran into her in Sinchon, where the crowds are so dense, the population density is over 20,000 per square kilometer! What were the chances of that? We agreed that it was an amazing coincidence and perhaps a sign, and met the next evening, and Jeongho showed up! I have pictures, but I'm holding off on posting them until I make my "documentary." Okay, fine, here's one that won't be in the documentary:

I have finals coming up. Honestly, I don't think I'll raise my grade to an A. We simply learn grammar too fast to learn it properly, so that's a guaranteed B or lower on the writing section, basically. Of course, anyone who isn't a gyopo isn't deemed important, so we don't learn listening comprehension. It's just assumed, and if you can't do it, I guess you'll end up with a C or lower on that test.

However, I have been doing a lot of independent work on listening comprehension, and am beginning to see the first faint glimmers of hope: listening to the radio roughly an hour a day, and listening to the optional tapes that you can buy in the basement of the KLI, I have started to notice that I'm getting clumps of three or four words in a row, on occasion, on the radio.

Somehow, Eric's table managed to set these scissors on fire. Scissors are an essential component of any Korean meal involving meat or large pieces of kimchi (such as tonight's MEGA GGAKDUGI). By the way, the bacon-like stuff is as-of-yet uncooked samgyeopsal.
November 11, 2006
Well, last night was pretty nice. At 7:00, we met at the subway station and went to eat samgyeopsal (some kind of pork fat that looks like bacon but doesn't taste as annoying, and you roll it up in lettuce). It was Eric's last day, so it looks like I'll be the only whitey, again.

I think I'm going to start saving the good pictures instead of putting them on my website immediately, because I'm going to use them in a short "documentary" about Level 2 (kind of like my 90-day retrospective). I remembered how to use Windows Movie Maker, so it's going to have lots of still images, videos shot in video mode on my less-than-$60 camera, and narration done on my computer's microphone.

November 10, 2006
Today was the Amateur Singing Contest (Noraejarangdaehoe). My class did "Sarangseureoweo." Even with tons of after-school rehearsals, pom-poms (red for the girls and blue for the boys), and most of the lyrics memorized, we didn't place in the top four, because everyone else put so much effort into theirs, as well. Today, I remembered how to use Windows Movie Maker to mix sound into my videos, so maybe you all will be treated so some nice videos with sound -- or not.

November 9, 2006
Well, today we found out at least some of the election results. Oh, wait, both political parties are the same -- onto more important news.

Today, the teacher (I can't remember her name, because we've had her for only a week or so) said something like "go to room 422 for fourth period because we have listening comprehension practice." To that, I blurted out "Listening comprehension practice is not useful." Then I proceeded to describe how all four of my practice exam scores had been higher than my midterm score. She was like "don't worry, you'll be fine." Well, of course, I didn't buy it, so I said "I listen to the radio for one hour a day, I listen to the tapes, and my reading score was 96%, so my vocabulary is fine. Why is listening comprehension (so) hard?" To that, she replied something to the effect of "in these classes, there are a lot of gyopos, and the class is geared towards them," to which I replied "yes, but I'm not a gyopo, so?" Eventually, I managed to persuade her to find out the class average. It turns out the class average was an 80%! Okay, so suddenly, my 78% isn't looking that bad! The teacher said that the final will be easier than normal to make up for the difficult midterm. That's great news. Maybe I still have a fighting chance at an 'A,' which could mean a 711,500 won scholarship.

Onto more interesting news, I think I'll open the "Sounds" page today. I also moved the last five news events into "Old News." From now on, every five news events, I'm going to archive them so that the main page isn't cluttered.