The QiRanger Adventures

Archive for the ‘General Update’ Category

Friday!!!!!

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The short mini-vacation, known as Chuseok week, is now over and I must return to work… for one day.

It has been a glorious week away from work, aside from the rain. What’s been best about the week, is that Jo and I made the most of it, taking side trips and visiting such iconic places as the DMZ and Everland.

We had originally wanted to hit Everland earlier in the week, but rain forced us to delay our plans, so we went on Thursday. This was very fortunate, since at the park we met up with Robert.

The day was a blast and such a great place to return to as well (for me). We weren’t alone in our plans to take the last day of vacation at Everland, as thousands joined us. In fact, at one point, we saw an MBC helicopter taking video of the day.

I think what made the week even more special for me was that I left the camera behind and enjoyed it as a real vacation. This weekend, Jo and I have a few plans (ie, video and cultural trips), but the big one is Seoul Tube. I am really looking forward to this event, as it is shaking up to be really huge. As of last night, we had 84 RSVPs on the Facebook Event. That is far more than I ever thought would come.

Since I have been away for so long, I feel kind out of the loop on all things Internet. What’s up in your neck of the woods?

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Written by Steve Miller

September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

The Pick-up

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Today was the awards ceremony for the most recent Korea Brand UCC Contest. Unfortunately, due to my work schedule, I was unable to fully participate; however, I did manage to make it out to Seoul for a while today and meet with the fine folks at the Presidential Council on Nation Branding.

At first I declined to attend the ceremony, not because I didn’t want to meet everyone, but because it takes about 90 minutes to get from their offices back to Dongtan. Since the ceremony was going to be at least an hour, it meant there was no way for me to be at their office and miss work. My solution was to go early (with their permission), and they agreed.

As this was my second award, both parties were eager to put faces with names. When I received my award certificate, it was also shared with all those in attendance that I was a repeat award winner.

It was great to finally be at their offices and mingle with other award winners. There’s an incredible amount of talent in Korea, and the contest brought out the best in everyone. They announced two more contests for the remainder of 2010, and I might enter them as well. For now, I we’ll see how my free times stacks up.

As mentioned on YouTube, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions regarding my travel videos. I’m going to do that now, since I’ll be delivering my computer to UBASE on Friday for a hard disk upgrade, and I’m not sure when I’ll get it back. Couple that with SeoulTube 2010 and Chuseok (추석) next week and I think you’ll see that I’ll be away from the Internet for some time.

So here are those commonly asked questions:

How long does it take to make a travel video? On average, the 4-minute videos I produce on YouTube with a travel theme take a full day of editing. Meaning that it may take 8 or so hours to produce the 4-minute program.

How do I choose where to go? This is really more of a team effort on Jo and my part. We both love to travel and see as much as we can during the time allotted. This means researching our destinations and scouring over maps to see what may be interesting and off the beaten path. Once we have an idea of where we want to go, we set about researching the Internet and consulting tourism organizations and books for details.

Are my videos scripted? Not really. Based on my research, I know what bullet points I want to cover, but rarely do I actually write out each line.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting. If you’re in Korea, I hope you have a great Chuseok and I’ll see you soon!

Living in Korea: A Vlog

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One of the questions I am most often asked is, “What is it like to live in Korea?” I find it incredibly hard to answer that question, since I believe you get out of life what you put into it. I hope this video does a better job showing what life is like in Korea, at least from my perspective.

Written by Steve Miller

September 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

When you get it right…

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How mornings start...

I love teaching… I really do. As we start off the new term, I had a great moment last night. Long-time readers will remember that during the Summer Intensive session, I taught a custom speaking class. It was designed to assist elementary students gain confidence in their public speaking abilities. Two of those students were in my class last night as we began the first lesson in their new level.

Since the material is rather light for Lesson 1, I incorporated a brief lesson on public speaking. I did this for two reasons: 1) Students at this level are asked to prepare longer presentations in class (and I expect more out of them); 2) Twice a year we hold speaking competitions for children at this level and above.

The two students that were in my class were very happy to see that Topic #1 from summer class was the same as the topic I assigned for homework. They not only took time to convince the rest of the class that giving a 2-minute speech was easy, but also asked if they could use the speech they prepared from summer.

I was already proud of them for doing such a great job this summer… but this made me even more so.

Tonight, I teach my first science class. I hope these students are as open to giving presentations as these younger ones. I love science and can’t wait to immerse myself once more into its world.

Written by Steve Miller

September 7, 2010 at 7:03 am

Monday… Monday

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From the media pole!

The past few days have been amazing, but alas it is Monday once more and time to focus and get ready for work.

This past weekend was a great little get-away for Jo and I since we had a lot on our to-do list. It entailed traveling all over Seoul, picking up items from Craig’s List, seeing movies, breaking bread with friends, and visiting historic sites.

Probably the best part about the weekend, is that we just kind of took things step-by-step, having a few ideas of what we wanted to do , but being open to other opportunities along the way.

For example, we had completed all of our shopping on Saturday and had a few hours to kill before meeting up with our friends for dinner. While on the bus to Sinchon (신촌), we passed by a Megabox movie theater and decided to see if something was playing. We opted for Killers with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl.

It looked like it was going to be a cute comedy, and there were moments, but in the long run, it fell flat and was predictable. But for Jo and I, it served its purpose and allowed us some down time and time to get out of the summer heat in Korea. (Seriously, when is it going to end?)

Over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing some video footage to put together a quick video about a normal weekend in Korea. I hope you’re downtime was fulfilling. What did you do?

Written by Steve Miller

September 6, 2010 at 6:43 am

One week to go!

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Recording

The weekend is quickly approaching and that means only one thing (well maybe more than that): It means that Jo and I are off for another adventure!

This time we’re headed down to the island paradise of Jeju. It’s going to be an action-packed trip that is sure to make for some great video footage, so stay tuned.

However, more importantly, I only have one more week of physio before my knee is evaluated again. I briefly spoke with the doctor on Friday and he agrees that things are progressing nicely, so hopefully next week, (just in time for September), I’ll be given a clean bill of health and I can resume trekking in the mountains again.

Also, I’ve begun recording the audio for my book. Previously this summer, I started writing a travel book for an online store. Not only was there a written version, but an audio companion as well. With the manuscript done, I’ve now turned to recording each chapter. One would think that with all the videos I do that recording the audio would be easy. I can assure that a simple 4-minute piece can take well into 30 minutes with all the flubs and noise that come from recording at home.

Since the audio book recounts a two-week trip I took through the National Parks, I’d like to know this: What’s the best trip you ever taken and why?

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

Written by Steve Miller

August 27, 2010 at 2:43 pm

It’s on…

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Bam!

For the past twelve working days, I’ve been teaching Summer Intensives (like Summer School). While I enjoy teaching, and in fact, got to write my own curriculum this time, what I really didn’t like was how it impacted my days.

Normally, I don’t start work until around 4pm (sure I go in a bit early, but that’s my choice). Having morning classes and then going back in the afternoon, really took its toll on me, since I’m used to taking it easy in the morning and also having time to go into Seoul if needed. Plus, after putting in a few hours in the morning, grabbing a quick bite to eat, and then looking at returning to the office an hour later, really inhibited my language learning time.

Granted, I have not been all that motivated at learning either Korean or Hangeul since Jo’s been here. But that’s changing. I am really motivated to take some extra time out of my day and learn both languages. An emphasis will be placed on Tagalog, since we’ll be returning to the Philippines for Christmas/New Year’s and I really want to be semi-fluent by then. Granted almost everyone in the Philippines speaks English, but I really enjoy learning languages and want to be able to converse with those that might not be comfortable speaking in English. I’m also looking forward to resuming my Rosetta Stone and TTMIK series (I erased my previous account with Rosetta Stone and started from scratch).

As of today, I’ve completed one lesson in both languages. That sounds more impressive that it really is, since they’re both review for me (I’ve done them many times). What I really appreciated was having Jo by my side correcting every little pronunciation as I was trying my hat at Tagalog. I hope with her expert instruction, I can really wow her mother and sisters.

Question: If you could learn any new language, what would it be?