The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Asia

Editing…

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Over the past week, I have spent a lot of time editing films and scripts. In fact, the more time I spend working on film-based projects, the more energized I feel about them. With two in-the-can, I only have two more projects to finish. It’s a good thing I have just under two weeks until deadline on the more important of the two.

However, with all the emphasis being placed on travel-show videos, it doesn’t mean that I don’t get out and have a little fun. Today, I had a few free minutes and elected to stop by my favorite furniture store in Dongtan. Not because I wanted to go shopping, but because I wanted to play with puppies.

Jo and I have been blessed with this store and the nicest dog I’ve met in a long time. Every time I pass by the store, I spend a few minutes giving her love, and now she recognizes me. When she sees me coming down the street, her tail starts wagging and then gives me tons of kisses when I get there.

I had been concerned, since over the past few weeks she hasn’t been around. I soon realized that she finally gave birth. Now, she has four lovely babies with her as well. I’ve gone back twice now and will probably continue to play with these little guys until they’re sold or given away. Part of me wants to take them home, because, as you’ll see in the video, they are filled with cuteness!

Have a great weekend!

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Written by Steve Miller

October 1, 2010 at 3:02 pm

The end of another month…

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September is over! It has been an awesome month, but the best thing about it has been the cessation of summer temperatures.

Fall is in full effect, bringing with it beautiful days and cool evenings. It’s also bringing with it several busy days. On the heels of SeoulTube, I stepped into several filming projects, most of which are not for my YouTube Channel. This is a breath of fresh air, as it lets me revisit some older topics and present them in a new, more stylistic manner.

Today, I went out to the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. It’s a great place, and a must-see (in my opinion) for anyone living in Korea. While out filming two projects, I was interviewed by KTV for an upcoming documentary they are working on in preparation for the G20 Summit later in October.

It was a fun experience, but for me very challenging. The interview portion was easy, but I constantly had to retrain myself not to look at the camera while talking. Shooting your own videos for YouTube, one must always look into the camera to engage the audience. However, this isn’t what you’re supposed to do in an interview… and after four years of trying to talk into the camera, looking past the camera was a stretch.

Here’s a quick little video I did at the pond while shooting:

I’ll post more about some of the other projects as they near completion.

Written by Steve Miller

September 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

Views on North Korea

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First off… HAPPY CHUSEOK! Now for something related to what’s going on here, as power appears to be shifting up north:

This past weekend, Jo and I took a trip out to Seoul and the Demilitarized Zone. With all the press that North Korea gets, I thought I’d find out what foreigners think about our neighbor to the north and how it affects their daily life. Thanks to Evan, Rachel, Cassie, and Johanna for being in the interview section.

Written by Steve Miller

September 22, 2010 at 9:35 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!

Teaching in Korea: Schools

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One of the questions I get regarding teaching in Korea is about what kind of school programs there are and how to get a good job. This is a multifaceted question, and I’ll try to break it down as easily and simply as possible.

There are two major teaching opportunities in Korea: Public Schools and private academies. While there are other teaching jobs available, the vast majority of individuals coming to Korea to teach English usually find themselves in one of these types of programs. Each has its own pros and cons, which I’ll cover below.

Public schools operate throughout the country and are generally regarded as a safer teaching option. This means there tends to be less issues with payment and contract issues. Most contracts are also during daytime hours and hover around 20 teaching hours per week. In addition, public schools tend to offer more vacation time and an up-front settlement allowance. However, there are some downsides. First, payment tends to be a bit lower than private academies. Second, since schools have long semester breaks, you may be asked to “desk warm” at the school (show up to work and sit for a full day with no work or classes to teach when students are on vacation).

Private academies offer a variety of work schedules ranging from mornings, days, afternoons, evenings, and split shifts. For the most part, you can find a school that teaches class when you want to work, so that you can maximize your free time. For example, I like having my days free, so I work evenings. Second, pay tends to be slightly higher than at public schools. Classroom hours vary, but can be up to 30 teaching hours per week. There can also be several problems at private academies. Some organizations are not above-board and try to cheat their employees by not abiding to the terms of the employment contract (longer hours, no overtime, late salary payment, etc.). This can be seen on several discussion boards. Furthermore, vacation time usually holds fast at two weeks per year. There are fewer problems when working for a large franchise, as they are very brand conscious.

When selecting the kind of job to apply for, really think about what age group you want to work with and what hours you’re willing to put into the classroom. Once you’ve done that, then you can start looking for a job. Probably the best way to get a good job (either at a public school or private academy) is to find someone online that likes where they are teaching and ask them how they got the job. The will usually point you to a recruiter and you can navigate from there. In some cases, you just might be in luck and the school will have an opening just for you.

Written by Steve Miller

September 14, 2010 at 4:45 am

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