This is the Blog for Scott's Uhls's vicissitudes in Ulsan, South Korea.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Kicking it into Gear...again
So, it's been a while since I wrote in my blog, and it turns out that I actually do have people reading this thing. That's been a strange revelation because, well, I'm buried deep in Blogspot's server. I actually didn't know that my friends and family read this blog since no one seems to leave comments, so I stopped, but it turns out that they actually do.
So, here we go.
Last night, I went to bed at 3am after having a long conversation with Thomas's Roommate. The guy slept in my roommates bed because my roommate didn't come home last night (I'm seriously beginning to suspect that his home is actually very close to here), like most weekends, and Thomas was then able to have his girlfriend and close friend Nathan (the same that appears in my photos or stories because he too is a TaLK scholar). It is "Open House" this weekend, which is pretty much just 48 hours of the students doing whatever they want, going where ever they want, and basically having a good old time. Fortunately, most of the foreign students are either a little older or a little more respectful of the area, so there's no a whole lot of drunken orgies going on. :)
In fact, my Japanese friends had girls in the their room last night, and everyone was drinking, but it was interesting because the typical Japanese drinking fest is loud and full of stories that you can't tell anyone about, but they were calm, contained and decent.
Actually, last night, while I was brushing my teeth and other things, I ran into one of the Japanese girls and a couple of guys standing outside the bathroom labelled with the symbol "여" signifying that it was designated for females. This only occurs during Open House times, and its just a logistical way of making sure that the women who visit have a safe place to go to the bathroom in the Men's dorm building, a place normally off limits to them. But this particular girl was embarrassed and blushing, ranting about how it scared her. I stopped to talk to them, and it turned out that one of the mongolian students, either oblivious to the new designation for the bathroom or oblivious to the meaning of the symbol, had gone inside and was using the bathroom, and she'd walked in on him. It was interesting and eventually cleared itself up while I was chatting with them, but it was funny because she was speaking in Korean at first until the guys said, "Oh, he lived in Japan, so he can speak Japanese." I guess she wasn't listening when I was talking back to them.
Anyway, my situation is interesting. To cover most of what's happened to me since I last posted, I'll give a brief rundown.
-I made two music videos, both now on Youtube. One is a mix of G-dragon from the Korean Hip Hop band "Big Bang" and Maroon 5, both singing their hit "This Love". The other is a compilation of Supernatural episodes done to BoA's song "Eat You UP." On facebook, This Love is fairly popular, but the supernatural video is actually doing better on Youtube.
-I got rejected by a girl who claimed she "wanted to be my girlfriend, but is too busy. If I wait a year, when shes a 3rd year, then she'll be ready." I call this a rejection because 4 days later she started dating her roommate, a guy she barely knew when we first met.
-I haven't finished my "Dictionary of Basic Korean Grammar" but I have been studying pretty intriquitely, and that includes a 6-10 hours of speaking nothing but Korean every week, which isn't alot, but it's alot more than I had before, and that has made a huge jump in my abilities.
-Doran, my co-teacher, quit and I have a new person whose name is "Choi Eun-mi" pronounced as "Che" like in "Checkers", "Oon" as is "Spoon" and "Mee" like "Meet". She's cool, and actually the reason behind the Korean Speaking time because we came to an agreement: I speak with her in English for a few hours a day, and she speaks with me in Korean a few hours a day. We obviously don't see each other every day, but enough.
-There are only 3 weeks left until my TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) Test, so I have to study hard because I might be getting grammar, and I might be improving my speaking skills, but the test is mostly vocabulary. Damn Koreans and thinking that vocabulary is the key to a language.
-I moved buildings during the winter break time and then moved back when the semester started, and now Thomas lives across the hall. We've been seeing each other more often, which is cool.
-Geoff, my good friend in the TaLK program, went back home to LA. This has been a good and bad thing. He and I basically hung out with each other all the time, which means that I'm sorta alone again. But, I've been meeting up with other friends, so I've been developing relationships with people like Adrienne, Grant, Mao, Marie, Thomas, Eun-mi, Sera and Yasuyo.
-Having started the new semester, I have new classes. One is on Modern China, one is on Korean Politics (which is self study/private tutoring, so I have to read a bunch of books basically for a grade), and the last one is Intermediate Korean Conversation. Apparently I've been doing pretty good with the language.
-My new students, which many are the same from last semester, are so intense and off the walls when their teachers aren't around, that I'm not sure what to do with them. I don't know when they stopped respecting me, but I've spent all my classes at a loud roar, and last time, it degenerated into a bunch of people playing Rock, Paper, Scissors and drawing on the back of their homework. Sigh.
-I started taking the POE free Korean classes, and somehow got placed in the Advanced course, but I'm more advanced then the course. It's fairly clear to me, as the teachers are busily going over grammar principles and vocabulary that comes up so frequently in my conversations with Eun-mi that I forget when I learned it.
-As part of the ULSAN POE/TaLK Cultral Tour program, the TaLK Scholars all took a 3-day trip to Jeju-do, a semi-tropical island south of Korea. It's called the "Hawaii of Korea" as it is tropical-ish, the largest of a small island chain (all belonging to Korea), and has a group of native peoples that are not Korean. It was really cool, and there's some amazing things on Jeju. I was suprised to find that many people on Jeju speak Japanese as well because of the large amount of Japanese tourists. It apparently has some pretty strong parallels to the Hawaiian islands.
Well, I think that's about enough to get things caught up. I'll start posting on a regular basis (crosses fingers) now that I know that I have an audience. I didn't start this blog for an audience, I started it for myself, but I guess not that I have people waiting for their next fix, I should get on top of this thing.
Mountain Dew Drinking, Japanese and Korean speaking, story writing nerd who doesn't exactly spend all his days in his basement doing nothing, but don't be surprised if you find my laptop filled to the brim with downloaded TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Dark Angel, Supernatural, The Wire, or the occasional anime. I lived in Japan for 2 years, and lost a whole lot of my manga/anime fanatacism, but I also learned to love Manga. 2 years in Korea reminded me that I can do the impossible.
I've got the perspective, if you are willing to listen then I'll give you low down on whatever you want to know.