The QiRanger Adventures

Posts Tagged ‘Blog

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

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?

Written by Steve Miller

September 24, 2010 at 8:10 am

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

Thanks!

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Since I’m opening the question gate over on YouTube, I thought I’d do it here as well. If you have a question about how I put together my travel videos, please let me know in the comments and I’ll craft them into a video response!

Written by Steve Miller

September 13, 2010 at 6:40 am

Your favorite gadget…

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HighWave's Brewfish

We all have favorite little things. It may be something old, something new, fairly common, or unique. But I’m sure there is something you have in your possession that you simply love. I have many in my possession, most of which were given to me by my wife (I still love my camera rig!). But one of the items that I use on a fairly regular basis that gets a lot of attention is my Brewfish.

I received the combination glass and coffee press in 2009 from the company and have really enjoyed it since. It has a very unique design and allows me to make one cup of freshly pressed coffee. It’s perfect for those mornings or afternoons where I only have time for one cup.

Another great feature of the glass, is that it’s made out of a durable plastic. While they tell me it’s dishwasher safe (I don’t have one here in Korea), I like the fact that it doesn’t really heat up too much. The black lid is also great, since you can close it when not drinking and keep your beverage warm.

Just talking about it (and drinking out of it as I type), makes me want to brew another cup… but alas I cannon. Jo and I are about to head into Seoul for some fun in the sun – I mean rain.

So, I’ve shown you one of my favorite gadgets… what’s yours?

Have a great weekend!

Written by Steve Miller

September 11, 2010 at 8:26 am

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Many thanks!

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One of the things I try to do with my travel videos is to make them fun, interesting, and educational. When I returned from holiday this summer, I saw that Experience Korea had launched its Season 3 competition, focusing on traveling in Korea.

With only a day to prepare an entry, I opted to submit my Wongudan video.

I was notified last evening that it was selected as one of the honorable mentions in the competition. I am extremely grateful for this distinction and plan to continue making shorts that extols Korea’s hidden treasures!

Written by Steve Miller

September 10, 2010 at 7:27 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